Air Conditioning Brands - Lennox
In 2015, the Lennox brand celebrated 120 years. While Lennox products have been distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand for over 40 years, globally the Lennox brand has a rich history built on a legacy of innovation that carries on even today. It started with that very first riveted-steel furnace in 1895.
Our founder Dave Lennox had an inventive personality and passion for quality craftsmanship. That spirit of innovation has been alive in Lennox since he earned the first steel furnace patent and went to work improving it. Over the years, there were many efforts that showed not only a willingness to blaze new creative trails, but also a commitment to do the right thing.
During WWII, Lennox factories were converted to support national war efforts. Many other creative products were designed and built, but never reached the production line. Among them, a Lennox gas stove, steel box fan, construction site gas heater and a unique “tank tread” driven combination lawn mover and snow plow called the Kitty Track.
Today the innovation legacy continues with exclusive technologies that deliver the ultimate in quiet, comfort, clean air and consistent heating and cooling. The innovations and industry firsts launched along the way are too numerous to list, but this is a sample:
- First to manufacture electronically controlled variable speed air handlers in 1978
- First high-efficiency gas furnace in 1982
- First indoor air quality system that attacks all classes of air contaminants in 2002
- First air conditioner to achieve an efficiency rating of 19.20 SEER in 2003
- First air conditioner to achieve an efficiency rating of over 20.00 SEER in 2005
Lennox set the standard for home comfort back in 1895 and continues to push the standard forward with a comprehensive Residential and Commercial range that satisfies the home comfort needs of people around the world.
A History of Lennox
In the early 1890s inventors Ernest Bryant and Ezra Smith from Oskaloosa, Iowa patented a riveted steel sheet metal coal furnace. In 1895 they shared the plans with Dave Lennox who owned a machine shop in Marshalltown, Iowa. They entered into a supplier agreement with Lennox providing iron castings for the grates, fronts and other parts. When Byrant and Smith lost their financial backing, they defaulted on payments and Lennox took over their patents, reworking the original design, and marketing his furnace under the TorridZone brand name. Sales growth and success followed.
Soon after, Lennox decided to sell the business to a local group led by D.W.Norris, editor and publisher of the local newspaper in 1904. Company records reveal a purchase price of $57,789.14. Norris incorporated the operation as Lennox Furnace Company, and sold 600 furnaces in the first year.The quality and safety advantage of the Lennox furnace over most common cast iron models became quickly evident. Cast iron was prone to warping over time, leading to cracks, allowing smoke and coal gas to leak into the living space. The Lennox model solved this problem since no warping occurred.
John W. Norris, son of president D.W. Norris, joined Lennox in 1927 following his graduation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By the early 1930s, the younger Norris had set up a research department in the back of the Marshalltown warehouse. This lab produced several important industry developments and cemented Lennox’ reputation for industry innovation. One of the innovations developed was the plan to put blowers on furnaces, bringing forced warm air heating to the industry.