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Bosch: A History

June 1, 2012

Robert Bosch, the 11th of 12 children, was born to well to do farmers in Southern Germany. His father, who was a farmer and freemason, was uncharacteristically well educated for a farmer. This led to a heightened emphasis of education in the Bosch home during Robert’s early years, propelling Robert to attend Realschule, a secondary technical school, and later apprentice as a precision mechanic. In 1884, at the age of 19 years old Robert Bosch traveled abroad to America to apprentice for Thomas Edison, there he observed the fast pace inventive genius that bubbled forth from the largest cities to the smallest of towns. He noted the American business spirit and left to return back home two years later, determined to replicate what he had seen in his own native Germany. Success followed in 1886 as he opened his own shop in Stuttgart Germany, dubbed the Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering, the doors opened officially on the 15th of November.

It was In 1887 however, when Robert produced the ground breaking Magneto engine, designed for petrol engines, and later the same year another Magneto engine that featured low voltage for internal combustible engines. Bosch hoped for a warm reception in the United States over his engine innovations, what he got was a lot more! Every country around the world needed these engines, and Bosch became a pioneer in the auto industry forever. The Bosch brand name became a synonym for innovative products, having the reputation for producing needed technology that leaped humankind forward in their pursuits. In 1906 Robert Bosch returned to America and set up his company stateside in New York City. He later created the eight-hour workday for his employees, this was just the first public show that was indicative of his timeless humanistic core values. It is important to note that Mr. Bosch continued to reside in Germany all of his life, and lived through the Nazis regime, he supported the resistance against Hitler and had a hand in saving many victims from persecution and deportation. Robert Bosch continued on to roll out various new creations such as; the very first powered hair clippers, the first viable high voltage spark plug, the Bosch power drill, windscreen wipers, and finally headlights, just to name a few. Robert Bosch stipulated in his last will and testament that his companies earnings should be allocated to charitable causes, he died at the ripe age of 82 years old, on March 12, 1942. The corporate constitution he sketched out for his company is still in use today.






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