In 1936, a small group of engineers from Emerson Electric were developing a new kind of hydraulic action temperature control device for use in thermostats, stacks and other heating ventilation applications. This group formed Missouri Automatic Controls in 1937 and was soon known as White-Rodgers Electric Company, after principal engineers Jim Rodgers and Chesterfield White.
Prior to World War II, White-Rodgers concentrated on its hydraulic temperature controls. During the war, the major portion of White-Rodgers manufacturing was diverted to the production of temperature and pressure controls, servomechanisms and blasting machines for the Armed Services. White-Rodgers temperature controls served every theater of the war on Consolidated, Bell, Douglas and North American military aircraft.
After the war, the boom in residential construction and availability of natural gas for heating caused a broadening of the line to include domestic space heating equipment, primary controls for oil burners and controls for domestic clothes dryers. All military production was discontinued. Military production resumed during the Korean conflict and the company's Armament Department made notable contributions to the military strength of the country. These activities continued until March, 1957 when the Armament Department was sold to Universal Match Corporation of St. Louis.
In April, 1956 the company name was changed to White-Rodgers Company; "Electric" was dropped as it was limited in defining the company activities. On December 15, 1961 White-Rodgers Company was acquired by Emerson Electric Co. In 1989, White-Rodgers became the first U.S. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) manufacturer to be agency certified to ISO 9001 standards. Today White-Rodgers operates as a Division of Emerson Co. and part of Emerson Climate Technologies. White-Rodgers headquarters is in St. Louis, Missouri and supplies products throughout the world.