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On the birthday of Robert Bosch

Stages of a life

The man who founded Bosch and gave the company its name was a multifaceted individual. He was a freethinking cosmopolitan, a technician and a friend of nature, a visionary entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. The mark Robert Bosch left on the company survives to the present day. On his 161st birthday on September 23, 2022, we look back upon the stages of his life.

Two children standing at a table
The origin
Where it all began. Robert Bosch was born in Albeck, southeast of Stuttgart, in 1861, the eleventh of twelve children. His parents ran a country inn. They had their two youngest children Robert and Maria photographed in 1871.
Robert Bosch with a travel companion
The traveler
After completing his apprenticeship as a precision mechanic, Robert Bosch went on the road. In 1884, he ventured across the pond and traveled to New York. Shortly before his departure, he had his picture taken in Rotterdam with his former fellow apprentice Leonhard Köpf.
Robert Bosch and his wife in the middle of a group of people
The family man
Anna Kayser and Robert Bosch fell in love in 1884. They married in 1886, and their children Paula, Margarete, and Robert Junior were born. After nearly 40 years, the marriage broke up due to the long suffering of their son, who had died of multiple sclerosis in 1921.
Group picture of a few men
The young entrepreneur on his way to becoming a global player
Robert Bosch had gone through a long lean period before his magneto ignition for automobiles became a global success around 1900. As early as 1905, he opened a factory in Paris, at the inauguration of which he was photographed with his business partners.
Robert Bosch an two men in front of a cabin
The nature lover on the hunt
Robert Bosch had loved nature since his childhood. He later said that he would have liked to study biology as a teenager. His love of nature also included his interest in hunting, which led him here on a trip to Sweden in 1917.
Robert Bosch with his wife and two children
New family happiness
After his separation from Anna, Bosch married again. The opera singer Margarete Wörz was married to Robert Bosch until his death in 1942. This marriage produced son Robert the Younger and daughter Eva. (1935)
Robert Bosch in front of a booth
The company boss
A seasoned entrepreneur. At the 1931 auto show in Berlin, Bosch presented a wide range of products that were already offering "Invented for life”. Bosch had grown from a small craftsman's business into a major corporation with 8,600 associates.
Group photo with Robert Bosch and associates
The employer
They respectfully called him "Father Bosch”. He was considered fair but could also be vocal in expressing his displeasure. The people who worked for his company knew that "at Bosch," associates were treated and paid well. (1936)
Robert Bosch an another man surveying a device.
The technically minded founder
Robert Bosch followed technical developments with great interest. On a tour of the plant in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, he inspects a new production line. Plant manager Paul Grundler (left) explains the details to his attentive visitor. (1941)
Robert Bosch listening to a speaker.
The cosmopolitan in the service of international understanding
In the years following the first world war, Robert Bosch showed great commitment to international understanding. In the summer of 1935, he initiated a meeting of French and German war invalids; the official reception was held in the Stuttgart Stadtgarten.
Among a group of men, Robert Bosch is testing a chair.
The donator
On the company's 50th anniversary, Robert Bosch fulfilled a long-cherished wish. He donated a hospital, the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart. During the inauguration in 1940, Robert Bosch took a detailed tour, which included a visit to the hospital terraces.
Robert Bosch and his wife unpacking a gift.
The company founder on his 80th birthday
Robert Bosch received a great deal of attention on his 80th birthday on September 23, 1941. In addition to honors and certificates, numerous gifts were presented. Robert Bosch and his wife Margarete had their hands full with the unpacking.

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