Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame


Albert M. Butz - 1992 Inductee

(1849 - 1904) Swiss immigrant, Butz invented a device called a thermoelectric damper regulator and alarm, the forerunner of the modern thermostatic furnace control and other control devices. In the early 1880's, Butz developed a heat control for a coal-fired furnace. He used a spring motor equipped with a crank arm to operate chains to adjust dampers of a coal-fired furnace or boiler in response to the demands of a room thermostat. The purpose of his invention was to maintain an even temperature in the home and relieve the homeowner of the tedious job of going to the cellar and opening and closing the damper by hand. It was the first application of the principle of feedback upon which is based the science of automated controls, an industry that has transformed the world. He founded the Butz Thermo-Electric Regulator Company which, through a series of re-organizations, name changes and mergers, has become Honeywell, Inc.

NOTE: These biographies have been compiled from information accompanying the nomination form submitted to the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame, information available on the Internet and from a variety of other sources.