The Butz Thermo-Electric Regulator Company was founded in 1885 when the Swiss-born Albert Butz invented the damper-flapper, a thermostat used to control coal furnaces, bringing automated heating system regulation into homes. The following year he founded the Butz Thermo-Electric Regulator Company. In 1888, after a falling out with his investors, Butz left the company and transferred the patents to the legal firm Paul, Sanford, and Merwin, who renamed the company the Consolidated Temperature Controlling Company. As the years passed, CTCC struggled with debt, and the company underwent several name changes. After it was renamed the Electric Heat Regulator Company in 1893, W.R. Sweatt, a stockholder in the company, was sold “an extensive list of patents” and named secretary-treasurer. 22 On February 23, 1898, he bought out the remaining shares of the company from the other stockholders.