I was very interested to read Edward Francis' letter published in Automotive News Europe's January 3 edition, which stated that Frederick Simms invented the magneto and that Bosch never sought a patent.
Unfortunately, this is incorrect. As it relates to the very foundation of the Bosch business, I think it is worth correcting.
The first Bosch magneto, manufactured in 1887, was based on a modified version of a device produced by the Deutz Company. At that time, the Englishman Frederick Simms and Robert Bosch did not know each other.
Later, changes in the magneto's construction were made by Bosch master craftsman Arnold Zoehringer. His work was patented by Bosch on June 11, 1897.
Gottlob Honold developed the high voltage magneto ignition system in 1901. The patent document for this innovation, number 156117 and dated January 7, 1902, was made out to Robert Bosch in Stuttgart and is still held in the company's archives.
Of great significance to the economic success of the Bosch enterprise was the foundation of foreign subsidiaries in the UK and France, which were established in association with Simms. As a result, Simms played an important role in the early development of the Bosch Group. In this respect, the contribution of Simms is widely recognized in our organization.
Robert Bosch UK Ltd.
Denham, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England