MILWAUKEE—Rockwell Automation Inc. is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Allen-Bradley brand.

Lynde Bradley and Stanton Allen, Ph.D., founded the Compression Rheostat Co. in 1903 and renamed it Allen-Bradley Co. in 1910. What began 100 years ago with an idea and a $1,000 investment has turned into the marquee brand of a $4 billion company with more than 22,000 employees in 450 locations worldwide.

Rockwell International purchased Allen-Bradley in 1985 for $1.651 billion, the largest acquisition in Wisconsin's history.