largely intact 19th century original ornamental cast bronze victorian era johnson electric interior residential mechanical thermostat cover with well-executed design containing intricate detail. the wall-mount cover features a female bust at the very bottom, along with northwind faces flanking the opening once containing the temperature controller. mostly uniform aged surface patina. original mercury thermometer with lightly incised brass scale plate, along with interior mechanics removed long ago. in 1883, warren s. johnson, a professor at the state normal school in whitewater, wisconsin, received a patent for the first electric room thermostat. his invention (along with honeywell) helped to launch the building control industry and was the impetus for a new company. johnson and a group of milwaukee investors incorporated the johnson electric service company in 1885 to manufacture, install and service automatic temperature regulation systems for buildings. the company was renamed johnson controls in 1974. between 1885 and 1911, professor johnson delved into many other areas, including electric storage batteries, steam and gas powered automobiles, huge pneumatic tower clocks and wireless telegraph communication. but at his death in 1911, the company decided to focus solely on its temperature control business for nonresidential buildings. johnson controls continued to develop new control technologies to help customers better manage their increasingly larger and more complex buildings. by the 1950s, for example, it was common for a large building to have hundreds of thermostats, valves, dampers and other temperature control devices installed throughout the facility, all of which had to be individually checked several times a day. to improve the efficiency of building operations staff, johnson controls introduced its pneumatic control center, for the first time enabling a building operator to monitor and operate all the temperature control devices in a facility from a single, central site.