What Is the History of Honeywell Security?

Honeywell Security has a deep and rich history with several branching paths. Most trace Honeywell's security roots to 1929 when Ademco was formed. Ademco was acquired by Pittway in 1963, and Honeywell later acquired Pittway in 2000. Honeywell's own security division formed in 1969.

HoneywellHoneywell is a multinational corporation that is comprised of several different sectors and divisions. The Honeywell Security division is just one part of the company. Originally, the company was known for its water heating products when it was founded in 1906. It wasn't until 1969 that Honeywell got involved in the security industry. This was when Honeywell purchased the Security Burglar Alarm Company.

But while Honeywell thrived in other industries, their initial entry into security systems was a struggle. Honeywell tried to gain footing in the industry throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s. It wasn't until 2000 when Honeywell acquired Pittway and its subsidiary of Ademco for $2.2 billion. This was when Honeywell finally began to thrive as a security company, and the company has been a leader in the industry ever since. In recent years, the company has released top-quality wireless security systems including the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System and the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels.

But that only tells that story from Honeywell's perspective. The real credit goes to Alarm Device Manufacturing Company, better known as Ademco. The company had been manufacturing top-quality security equipment since 1929, making them one of the true pioneers in the industry. The roots of Ademco go back to when hardware store owner Maurice Coleman founded the company in that same year for the purpose of building custom alarms for businesses. Today, much of the early Ademco equipment is housed inside the Honeywell Security Museum in Melville, NY. The museum features old Ademco product catalogs, some of the earliest ever door contacts and Ademco's early security systems.

The other major player in the history of Honeywell's security division is Pittway. The roots of Pittway go back to 1950 when the company was founded as the Pittsburgh Railway Company. The company purchased Ademco in 1963, helping them gain tremendous footing in the security and fire protection industries. The Pittsburgh Railway Company changed its name to Pittway in 1967.

By the 1970s, Pittway was one of the industry leaders for smoke detectors, and their units were distributed by Sears. This was made possible with Pittway's purchase of BRK Electronics in 1970, which added ionization smoke detectors to their product lineup. With this success, Ademco's sales skyrocketed from $2 million in 1963 to $96 million in 1981.

The mid-to-late 80s saw great success in the security industry for the company. Pittway formed Ademco Distribution Inc. in 1988 to better distribute its security products. This led to a rapid increase in alarm equipment sales. A few years later, the company released the first panels in the Ademco VISTA Series, which is now known as the Honeywell VISTA Series. The VISTA Series is still one of the most popular lineup of security systems available on the market today.

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