This is a finding aid (or, description) of materials available in the La Crosse Public Library Archives.  At this time, none of the materials listed below are accessible over the internet.

Contact the Archives to learn more about using these materials.

Materials related to the Trane Company, circa 1945-1997 MISC MSS 359

Materials related to the Trane Company, circa 1945-1997


Summary Information

Materials related to the Trane Company (circa 1945-1997) collection includes photographs, newspaper articles, a biography on Reuben Trane, company marketing materials, and company publications all relating to the Trane Company. The materials were collected by George W. Hoel.
Collection Title
Materials related to the Trane Company
Date of Materials
circa 1945-1997
Trane Company.
Call Number
0.02 cubic feet (1 folder)
Language of Materials
La Crosse Public Library Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Materials related to the Trane Company, circa 1945-1997, MISC MSS 359, La Crosse Public Library Archives, La Crosse, WI

Return to Table of Contents »

Historical Note

The Trane Company’s founder is James Trane, a Norwegian immigrant who opened his own plumbing shop in La Crosse, WI, in 1885.

With the inspiration of cold Wisconsin winters, James Trane invented a new low-pressure heating system he called the Trane Vapor Heating System. His son, Reuben, had a college degree in mechanical engineering; together they began manufacturing operations in 1910 and incorporated as The Trane Company in 1913. It was Reuben's invention of the convector radiator in 1923 that firmly established the company's reputation as an innovator.

The idea of using technology to give people relief from summer heat was a radical and unproven idea when Trane became an air conditioning pioneer in 1931.

Trane fundamentally changed the concept of air conditioning large buildings with the 1938 launch of Turbovac, the industry's first hermetic, centrifugal refrigeration machine. This was the beginning of a long chain of innovations leading to Trane's current CenTraVac®, the industry standard for large commercial air conditioning systems. This is the most energy efficient system available anywhere for large buildings and it has earned Trane the "Best of the Best" Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Trane Company acquired Sentinel Electronics in the late 1970s, and moved into the building automation and management field. The company was the first to offer integrated controls for all its products and became a leader in the still new field of energy management.

In 1982, Trane acquired General Electric's Central Air Conditioning Division which enabled the Trane Company to become a leader in residential air conditioning.

In 1984 Trane was acquired by American Standard Companies and remained the largest of its three businesses: Air Conditioning Systems and Services, Vehicle Control Systems (WABCO) and Bath and Kitchen.

On Nov. 28, 2007 Trane Company successfully separated the three American Standard businesses, leaving each free to concentrate exclusively on the markets it knows best. Over the course of the year WABCO was spun off as an independent corporation and Bath and Kitchen was sold to Bain Capital Partners. On Nov. 28, 2007, American Standard Companies changed its name to Trane.

On June 5, 2008, global diversified industrial company Ingersoll Rand acquired Trane, furthering its transformation into a multi-brand commercial products manufacturer serving customers in diverse global markets. (Information acquired from: The Trane Company website,

Return to Table of Contents »


George William Hoel was born on April 24, 1912, in La Crosse, Wis. to Alfred and Ada (Paulson) Hoel. He graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1929. He married Marion Lovejoy on December 4, 1937 in La Crosse. Together they had one daughter, Karen (Hoel) Newburg and a son, George "Bill" Hoel Jr. Hoel attended and graduated from the La Salle Extension University Traffic Management course and the Chicago College of Advance Traffic.

He retired in 1977 after 42 years as the Traffic Manager for the Trane Co.

In addition to his career at the Trane Company, he was a 40-year La Crosse Elks Club B.P.O.E. member, a 70-year Frontier Lodge 45 of F. and A.M., the La Crosse and Eau Clair Consistory, the ZOR Shrine Temple, the DeMolay Legion of Honor and a charter member of the La Crosse Jaycees.

George W. Hoel died on Monday October 18, 2004, in La Crosse, Wis.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents

Materials related to the Trane Company, 1945-1997, include fifteen photographs (1945-1960s), including images of the office at Cameron Avenue and Second Street; transporting Trane goods by air; and Patty Berg the WPGA celebrity and guest of Reuben Trane; two newspaper articles (undated, July 16, 1974); an 8-page biography on Reuben N. Trane (1954); company marketing materials (circa 1960s-circa 1976); two editions of the Trane Triangle (June 1970, Fall 1997); a March 1945 edition of Trane Weather Magic; and a program for the October 30, 1964 European Regional Conference of the National Defense Trasportation Association entitled, "Transportation-Year 2000."

These materials were collected by George W. Hoel.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

La Crosse Public Library Archives 2017 March

800 Main St.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601
(608) 789-7136

Access to Materials

Materials in this collection are available for patron use.

Acquisitions Information

(Accession no. 2017.030) Donated by Karen (Hoel) Newburg

Return to Table of Contents »

Related Materials

Related Materials

 Industries--Trane Company
(Picture File)
 PC 012: Industries--Trane Co.
(Local Publication)
 LP 0264 Trane Company Publications
(Manuscript Collection)
 MISC MSS 286: Preview Kit "House of Weather Magic, May 1954" by Trane Company
(Manuscript Collection)
 MSS 140: Trane Company Labor Agreements
(Manuscript Collection)
 MISC MSS 288: Trane Company Non-Contributory Pension Plan for La Crosse Hourly Rated Employees, 1962

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Trane Company.

Personal Name(s)

  • Hoel, George W., 1912-2004
  • Hoel, George W., 1912-2004
  • Newburg, Karen L. (Hoel)

Return to Table of Contents »