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A young founder has to be flexible

Robert Bosch in his office.

Robert Bosch was feeling upbeat when he opened his workshop in 1886. However, he wanted to sell electrical products and something was foiling his plans. A long-planned electricity works was stalled until 1895.

Fits into any closet

Robert Bosch in 1899, when he was 38.
Robert Bosch in 1899, when he was 38 — two years after launching the first automotive product, and two years before he opened his first factory.

This prevented the development of his electrical engineering business. And so he switched course, as he and his co-workers needed to earn their daily bread. He had to make do from one contract to the next, never gave up, and completed whatever orders customers happened to request — lightning rods, cigar-tip cutters, typewriters for the blind. The list of what Robert Bosch built and repaired is long and curious.

In 1887, Robert Bosch started placing advertisements in Stuttgart’s daily newspaper.
In 1887, Robert Bosch started placing advertisements in Stuttgart’s daily newspaper “Der Beobachter” in order to publicize his workshop.

But then everything changed again. Bosch was able to breathe more easily and focus more on the business that had been in his sight from the start — constructing and installing electrical systems. When Stuttgart’s electricity plant went into operation in 1895, every household and company was able to connect to the permanent supply and then operate electrical appliances. This ensured the existence of Bosch.

Dietrich Kuhlgatz

Picture of Dietrich Kuhlgatz

Since 1998 I have been at Bosch. I am deputy head of the Historical Communications department, working as spokesperson and researcher. I am in charge of product history requests, take care of contacts to technology and transportation museums, and I am in charge of history-related topics in Asia Australia, and Africa.
Before joining Bosch, I studied in history and philosophy at Universities of Konstanz and Hamburg. After graduating, I was editor of a scientific journal and research associate at Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin.

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