In the mid nineteen-hundreds, Europe was just coming out the second world war and for many families, economic survival was a challenge. It was during these trying times that my grandfather - Walter Bachmann - faced economic hardship when he lost his job in a textile factory due to unfortunate circumstances.
Without any income and burdened with the responsibility of providing for his wife and seven children, Walter took to fasting and prayer. One morning - towards the end of his 30-day fast - Walter woke up with a sense of clarity. In his mind, he perceived the complete blue-print for an invention which was to help revolutionize the textile industry. Shortly thereafter, Walter founded his own factory where he set out to execute on his vision and automate the manufacturing of the „Breithalter “, - a critical tool required in the mass-production of textiles.
Walter’s process of automation in conjunction with employing new materials which just had been developed at the time, made him a very successful (and benevolent) entrepreneur. This invention, together with many other innovations, helped propel the swiss textile industry to its world-renowned reputation marking the zenith of the industrial age in the 20th century.
As a young lad, I can remember visiting my grandfather at his home where my grandma would prepare the most delicious meals. After dinner, Walter preferred reclining in his favorite chair and just like the classic patriarch, he would proceed to teaching me about life, family, and business.
It was during one of those occasions that i challenged him with the following question: „how can you be a man of faith and yet be in the business of making money?” Calmly and with great assurance, my grandfather's attention turned to a red box. He picked it up – paused – and then went on to ask me: “Do you see this box?” He then opened the box which contained his “Breithalter” and proceeded to say:” Whenever a “Breithalter” would come off the assembly line and it was ready to go into this red box for shipping, then I took great satisfaction in knowing that in return for their money, each customer would receive a tool of great quality and value. That’s how you can be a man of faith and a businessman at the same time!”
These words of wisdom stayed with me all my life and at Wagner of Switzerland corp., we work hard to embed my grandfathers' values of innovation and quality into all of our products.