Robert Bosch

Inducted 1984

Founded the Bosch companies that developed ignition systems and electrical components that became known for their quality and reliability

Instituted progressive working conditions for his employees, including the 8-hour day, 5 1/2 day week

Robert Bosch improved the performance of engines – and the lives of workers. Raised in Germany with 11 siblings, Robert Bosch did not enjoy school and became the apprentice to a precision mechanic. He later traveled to America and worked in industrial facilities, including that of Thomas Edison. Returning to Germany, Bosch founded a factory in Stuttgart where he developed the Bosch Magneto, a device for regulating electrical current in internal combustion engines. This innovation made the construction of high-speed, high-performance engines possible. He also developed a fuel-injection pump for the diesel engine which dramatically improved the engine’s performance.

A believer in social progress, Bosch instituted shorter hours and higher pay for his workers. His company created old-age and dependents’ assistance in 1928, to maintain and increase the good will of their employees. Bosch’s trust and loyalty were characterized by a statement attributed to him: “the inviolability of my promises, trust in the merit of my products and the value of my pledged word have always seemed more valuable to me than a transitory profit.”

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Class of 1984

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