Robert Bosch was a man of many interests, including nature, agriculture, health, education, and social policy. His biggest passion, though, was technology. Above all, he was drawn to any kind of new technological innovation. As a young precision mechanic, he moved from Ulm in southern Germany to New York in 1884 so that he could follow the progress of technology. He approached the world with a curious and open mind his entire life.
Bosch was often among the first to try out new inventions without prejudice, recognize their potential, and help bring them to the mass market. For example, he was an avid early user of both the telephone and the safety bicycle — the first bike to be made with today’s practical design. At his workshop, Bosch and his mechanics developed important products for the major innovations of the time, such as reliable ignition systems for cars, motorcycles, and aircraft.
Years later, even as a successful entrepreneur, Bosch still sought to pick up on and advance the latest innovations. He maintained an interest in new ideas and products well into old age, receiving detailed briefings on technological aspects from former colleagues. Most of all, he stayed true to one of his core beliefs: “Advances in the development of technology, to the fullest extent of the word, serve to provide the greatest services to mankind. Technology, which is designed and has the capability to help the whole of mankind make the best of their lives and find happiness in life.”
Author: Bettina Simon