BAVARIA AND TUSCANY.
The history of the German company, fixing system specialist, which in 1962 came under entirely Italian management
Fixing systems for the construction world, with a range of the most complete and specialised products at an international level: in 2022 Bossong celebrates its 85 year of activity; a corporate history of research and innovation, which has made a fundamental contribution to the construction world. This anniversary is an occasion to remember its history, which began in the 30 in Bavaria and then Düsseldorf and underwent a significant evolution which then brought it to Italy (1962), where the company expanded production with the most modern solutions in the fields of mechanical fixing and chemical anchoring.
Karl Bossong founds Bossong-Werk GmbH
It was in Germany in the Thirties when Karl Bossong, in Bavaria, founded Bossong–Werk GmbH, a factory specialising in the production of components for the automobile sector, which then moved in 1944 to Lintorf (near Düsseldorf) into the premises of a former clay brick factory. Karl Bossong, born in Munich on the 9th of November 1909, was a racing driver during the Forties, on board the ‘Veritas RS’, a racing car with a 2 litre BMW engine. He came third twice on the Nürburgring and Kölner Kurs circuits and fourth at Hockenheim in 1949. It was after the Second World War that he moved from the automotive sector into the field of nail machines and fasteners, following a trip to the USA, where he had seen a nail gun and realised its potential for development in Germany. In fact the full phase of development was during the reconstruction years in Germany, when Bossong, at a time of great turmoil for the building industry, used the operational system of a pistol to drive a nail into concrete, as well as to fix steel bars and wooden planks.
In 1951, thanks to the support of technician Max Skuwawiz, a nail gun was developed that was more efficient and economical as it was composed of less elements and a patent was registered in the United States (5th April 1955, patent no. 2,705,323 for “Gun for fastener projectile” at the ‘United States Patent Office’). In the meantime however, due to large debt, Karl Bossong was forced to sell (1950) part of his company to the Burkhardt-Bank of Essen and to the American company Ramset. The high quality of production achieved at the factories of Karl Bossong were maintained for the TORNADO production (this would be the name of the Lintorf company from 1954 when the name changed to Tornado-Ramset GmbH + Co), ensuring several decades of success for nail gun tools, exported all over the world. It was managed by Harald Lüdecke, who was assisted for a period by the American Mr Boge.
Karl Bossong definitively left ‘Bossong Werk GmbH’ in 1952 and moved to Italy where he founded Bossong SpA. Production was therefore decentralised in northern Italy, where it was most economical at the time, in Ponte San Pietro to be precise, in the province of Bergamo. Even in those years the nails were being produced with innovative technology in comparison to the normal cut of common use nails. The tip of the Bossong nail was ‘hammered’, which concentrated the fibres, and was not cut with the usual ‘cutting’ system. This technology made the Bossong nail unique in its genre in terms of resistance, able to withstand the explosion and penetration into steel and concrete.
It was 1956 when Karl Bossong, pursuing the positive growth of the construction market, expanded his activity with ‘Bossong Gesellschaft’, through which he began to market construction products. There were then two types of activity, the productive ‘Bossong Werk’ and commercial ‘Bossong Gesellschaft’, which would continue side by side and distinguish the entrepreneurial soul of Bossong over the entire course of its history, up to today.
The Taddei family glassworks
As mentioned before, the Taddei family has always been a family of entrepreneurs. The great grandparents of Luciano, Emilio Taddei (Florence 1816 - Livorno 1879) and Giovanna Marconi (Pisa 1820 - Bientina 1893) moved to Livorno where, around the first half of the 1800s, it appears that they had a bottle factory, the “Emilio Taddei Glassworks”, in the area of Porta San Marco. The grandfather of Luciano was born in Livorno during the reign of Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany: Luigi Taddei (Livorno 1856 - Florence 1919) who married Zaira Romani (Livorno 1857 - Florence 1915). Luigi and Zaira had just become subjects of the House of Savoy (1861, Italian Unification) when they moved to Castelfiorentino in the province of Florence where, around 1884, they created “The Taddei-Marconi Glassworks of Castelfiorentino”. This glassworks produced flasks for wine and oil, typical products of the Tuscan hills. Taddei glassworks improved the life of many families in Castelfiorentino: while men worked in the fields or vineyards, women were given the possibility of bringing a second salary home by covering the glassworks’ flasks with straw. Today glassworks no longer exists, but where they used to stand there is now a monument in remembrance of the straw-covering women and the men who used to blow glass at the glassworks which was owned by Luigi Taddei up until his death after the First World War. The glassworks was then sold to the Rigatti family which owned it until the 1950s.
BERGAMO, LATE FIFTIES.
Galvanisation by Industria Elettrochimica Bergamasca
Bossong nails had to be protected from corrosive agents and the elements and were therefore galvanised. A company specialising in high-resistance galvanisation was therefore required, in order to guarantee withstanding of the explosion and then, once the nail is fixed, galvanic protection. It was this requirement that led Karl Bossong, in the late Fifties, to meet with the Taddei family, owners of the ‘Industria Elettrochimica Bergamasca srl’ company from Longuelo (Bergamo), which specialised in galvanisation. At the time the company was managed by its founder, Dr Emilio Taddei, who had started out as a steel technician in Leghorn before the Great War and then, during the Twenties, was head-hunted to be Technical Director of the Dalmine plants by the engineer Agostino Rocca, whose cousin Elina he would marry. The connection with Dalmine, today Dalmine-Tenaris, was then handed down to their son Luciano who from 1996 to 2003 was a member of the Board of Directors and from 1998 to 2012 has been an advisor to the Fondazione Dalmine. After the war, in the Fifties, Emilio Taddei founded Industria Elettrochimica Bergamasca srl with his two sons Marco and Luciano; its headquarters were located in the family farm, reconverted into a chemical works.