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American Standard Companies

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American Standard Companies Inc.
Company typePublic
Founded1929; 95 years ago (1929)
Defunct2007; 17 years ago (2007)
FateSplit into American Standard Brands, Trane and WABCO Vehicle Control Systems
Key people
Frederic M. Poses (chairman and CEO)
Number of employees

American Standard Companies Inc. was a manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, plumbing fixtures, and automotive parts. The company was formed in 1929 through the merger of the American Radiator Company and Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company forming the American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation. The name was simplified to American Standard in 1967.

The company was broken up in 2007 with the spin off of the automotive parts business as WABCO Vehicle Control Systems and sale of the plumbing fixtures business as American Standard Brands. The remaining business was renamed Trane, which continues to build HVAC systems under the American Standard name. Trane was acquired by Ingersoll Rand in 2008, and the parent company has since been renamed Trane Technologies.


In 1929, the American Radiator Company (founded 1892) merged with the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company (founded 1875[1]) to form the American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation. The plumbing division, Standard Sanitary, would continue to sell their products under the "Standard" label until 1967, when the company changed its name to American Standard Corporation. The American Standard label was used for both divisions from that year on.

In 1929, American Standard bought the Kewanee Toilet Boiler Company, which it kept until the early 1970s.

Kewanee Boiler

In 1968, the group purchased earthmoving and mining product range of the Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO). It divested itself of these assets in 1984.[2]

In 1984, the group acquired HVAC manufacturer Trane. In 1999, American Standard purchased control of the United Kingdom-based plumbing fixture companies Armitage Shanks and Ceramica Dolomite of Italy from Blue Circle Industries for $430 million.

On February 1, 2007 the company announced it would break up its three divisions:[3]

  • The automotive parts business was spun off, forming WABCO Vehicle Control Systems.
  • The plumbing fixtures division was sold off to Bain Capital for $1.745 billion.[4] Bain sold the North American and Asian operations to Sun Capital and Lixil Group respectively, while retaining the European and Latin American operations as Ideal Standard.[5] The deal also included the rights to use the former company name in North America operating as American Standard Brands.
  • The remainder of the company took the name of its heating and air conditioning subsidiary Trane. Ingersoll Rand made an offer to acquire Trane on December 17, 2007 and the sale was completed on June 5, 2008. The parent company has since been renamed Trane Technologies.[6]


  1. ^ "Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company". November 19, 2015.
  2. ^ Publishing, Contrafed (September 30, 2016). "Caterpillar 639D".
  3. ^ "American Standard Companies Announces Plan To Separate Its Three Businesses", ir.americanstandard.com (press release), February 1, 2007, archived from the original on January 13, 2009
  4. ^ American Standard Companies Announces Completion of Sale of Bath and Kitchen Business to Bain Capital (press release), October 31, 2007, archived from the original on May 5, 2009
  5. ^ Hagerty, James R. (June 28, 2013), "Japanese Toilet Maker Lixil Buys American Standard", online.wsj.com, The more than century-old American Standard was sold in 2007 to a Bain Capital Partners LLC fund for $1.76 billion. Bain sold the North American part of the business to Sun Capital for about $130 million and later sold the Asian business to Lixil, then known as JS Group, while retaining the European, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and African operations as Ideal Standard.
  6. ^ Ingersoll Rand Completes Acquisition of Trane (press release), Ingersoll Rand, June 5, 2008, archived from the original on July 28, 2014, retrieved June 20, 2014


  • Rodengen, Jeffrey L. (1999), The history of American Standard, Write Stuff Enterprises, ISBN 0-945903-48-0

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