An example of the first thermostats Johnson Controls installed in the Pfister Hotel. Reflected is a painting on the opposite wall of Pfister piano player Dr. Jeffrey Hollander. His likeness was rendered by previous resident artist Katie Musolff.

Did you know the first building to (ever!) have temperature controls in each room was the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? During the Industrial Revolution Johnson Controls and the Pfister Hotel grew up like two kids on the same block. Both also grew to garner international recognition in their chosen fields. I met with Johnson Controls Head Archivist Ken Wirth to hear their intertwined stories.

We couldn’t leave the guest of honor out of the conversation, so Ken and I talked over coffee in the hotel’s lobby lounge. This interview originally aired November 1st, 2011 on 89.7 WUWM during Lake Effect and is introduced by Lake Effect Executive Producer Mitch Teich. To listen simply click the player below.

 

Good thing we have Wisconsin weather! (to thank for the electric thermostat) by Ed Makowski