Bosch Showroom

Bosch Milestones

You can see the information about Bosch's historical products which are exhibited at café 1886 at Bosch.

1902 High-voltage magneto ignition

In the summer of 1901, Robert Bosch gave his colleague Gottlob Honold the brief of designing a magneto ignition system without the break-spark rodding which was unreliable. After just a few months, Honold presented his high-voltage magneto ignition system, based on what was known as electric arc ignition. By means of two coils on the armature, it generated a high-voltage current. This was conducted to a spark plug via a simple cable connection. The high-voltage current jumped the gap between its electrodes in the form of a spark.

1913 Bosch automotive lighting system

Up until 1913, Bosch manufactured practically nothing but ignition devices or systems. This focus on a single product was a very risky business strategy. At the same time, the automotive market was changing – luxury vehicles and sports cars were becoming everyday items. Robert Bosch recognized that the prospects for electric automotive lighting were good. Development work started in 1910, and the Bosch automotive lighting system was ready for series production in 1913. The system comprised headlights, a generator, a battery, and a regulator. This lighting system paved the way for Bosch as a universal automotive supplier and formed the basis for today's vehicle electrical systems.

1914 Starter Motors

Electric starter motors made life very much easier for motorists. Firstly, drivers were spared the strenuous task of cranking up the car. Secondly, after 1900 there was a significant rise in the number of drivers who, despite not having a chauffeur, were not prepared to crank up the car themselves. Thirdly, when cranking up the car, there was a risk that the starter crank could fly back in the opposite direction. This was known as "crank kickback" and led to numerous fatal accidents. The electric starter, on the other hand, was initially activated at the press of a pedal and later at the touch of a button. This made it an innovation with a real future.

1921 Electrical horn

"Clear sound, immediate reaction, wide range, low energy consumption, reliability and agreeable shape" – these were the requirements for the new "Bosch-Horn", which Bosch applied for patent on April 12, 1914. It was supposed to replace the usual squeaking manually operated horn signals, the dreadfully croaking Klaxton horns and the tweeting engine pipes. The basic principle of the "Bosch-Horn" construction was known from organ building. The result was a pleasing and powerful tone with a range of more than one kilometer – and a construction principle which defined the standards of horn technology until today.

1927 Diesel injection system for commercial vehicles

Around 1920, experts were vaunting the diesel engine as the powertrain of the future. Bosch realized how significant it was.
The electric ignition, the most important part of the product portfolio, was not necessary in a diesel engine. Bosch faced a dangerous situation for his company and made a decision: He officially started developing diesel injection pumps in 1922. The first diesel truck was rolled out in Germany in 1924, enabling Bosch to test its new pumps under normal driving conditions. Bosch gave the go-ahead for the series production of in-line injection pumps for trucks on November 30, 1927.

1932 Power tool

The first electrical tool from Bosch was the Forfex hair cutter in 1928. Engineers involved in the development of electrical tools in Bosch's production facilities capitalized on its "hand-held motor".
By 1932, these tools had become so popular within the company that they were also released for sale to the public. At the same time, in 1932, Bosch also unveiled a heavy hammer drill, which was the only appliance proven to be stable in comparative tests. As a result, the drill earned itself an excellent reputation in the construction industry.
Commercial success in Europe came with the 'DIY boom' at the start of the 1950s. The "Bosch Combi", unveiled in 1952, comprised a hand-held motor with various attachments that became a real sales hit. Such was the success of the product that a new production plant had to be built in Leinfelden near Stuttgart/Germany. The plant is now the headquarters of the Power Tools Division.
Electrical power tools are now produced here and at locations in nine other countries. For quality-conscious DIY enthusiasts, Bosch produces the "green" line, while the "blue" line is geared towards the needs of the professional trades. Bosch also produces lawn and garden power tools.

1932 Presentation of the Bosch hammer drill

At the Leipzig trade fair in 1932, Bosch unveiled its new hammer drill. Bosch had succeeded in series-producing the first electric drill that could strike and rotate at the same time. The tool made work at construction sites much easier, and quite literally stuck by its users "through thick and thin."

1952 Kitchen aid

At the Leipzig Spring Fair in 1933, Bosch unveiled a refrigerator – the first domestic appliance to be produced by Bosch itself. The company saw this appliance as a vehicle for tapping into further promising product areas. Electrical refrigeration was also to be made affordable for broader sections of the public through large-scale series production.
Nonetheless, the price of this extravagant product was 298 reichsmarks, the equivalent of three months' salary for a worker. This is in spite of the fact that the drum-like shape of the refrigerator enabled production costs to be cut. The "drum" was superseded in 1936 by a more spacious, box-like refrigerator, which Bosch manufactured until 1951.
Commercial success began from around 1950 onwards, with new streamlined product designs. Modern production methods enabled prices to be cut considerably over the course of the 1950's, which accelerated the widespread appearance of electrical refrigerators in homes. This development spurred Bosch on to broaden its product portfolio. In 1952 came the "Neuzeit" food processor, with the deep freeze following in 1956. In 1958 came the drum washing machine and, in 1964, the electric dishwasher was born.
Robert Bosch GmbH, in conjunction with Siemens AG, founded a joint subsidiary in 1967 under the name Bosch-Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH. In 2014, Bosch acquired the Siemens–owned 50%, and the now called BSH became a fully Bosch-owned company. BSH today supplies all kinds of household appliances under the brand names Bosch, Constructa, Gaggenau, Neff and Siemens. The company is a pioneer of connected household appliances ready for the Internet of Things and Services.

1967 Jetronic, electronically controlled gasoline injection

In 1959, Bosch started developing an electronically controlled gasoline injection system. It took six years until the technology was ready for the market. Launched in 1967, the pressure controlled Jetronic was the world's first large series-produced electronic gasoline injection system. It premiered in the U.S. version of the Volkswagen 1600 LE and TLE models. Thanks to the Jetronic, the VW 1600 LE and TLE were able to meet the Californian environmental standards, the toughest in the U.S. and worldwide.

1978 ABS Antilock braking system

The success story of ABS, the first electronically-controlled four-wheel antilock braking system for passenger cars, began in autumn 1978, nine long years after Bosch had started developing the system. This groundbreaking Bosch technology was the departure point for all modern braking control systems. The ABS antilock braking system uses sensors to identify when the wheels are locking and intervenes in the brake system to prevent this locking. That keeps the car on the track even on slippery ground.

1995 Motorcycle ABS

The notion of antilock braking systems was already being researched at a time when there were few cars and motorcycles: As early as the beginning of the 20th century, consideration was being given to how the wheels on planes and trains could be prevented from locking. The first antilock braking system for motorcycles came onto the market in 1988, ten years after ABS was introduced for passenger vehicles. In 1995, Bosch started series production of the first antilock braking system. The ABS generation 2L1 had a considerable weight of 4.5 kg.