Spud Spikes for baking, grilling, and barbequing.

Celebrate the jigsaw

by Leon A. Frechette

How did the jigsaw come about? An employee working for a Bosch-owned Swiss manufacturing company replaced the needle on his wife's sewing machine with a saw blade to enable him to make delicate and detailed cuts in wood.

A special place in history

The Swiss company, Scintilla AG, was primarily in the business of making magnetos. In fact, the magneto used in Lindbergh's famous "Spirit of St. Louis" flight was made by Scintilla. Sil Argentin, former Marketing Communications Manager of Skil-Bosch Power Tool Company, shared with me a telegram to Scintilla from the Wright Aeronautical Corporation that read "Captain Lindbergh's Ryan Monoplane could never have reached Paris without the unfailing spark delivered by Scintilla Aircraft Magnetos to his WRIGHT WHIRLWIND ENGINE (stop) YOUR SPLENDID MAGNETO IS PLAYING A PROMINENT PART IN MAKING HISTORY. DATED MAY 22, 1927." It is totally incredible to actually hold a copy of a telegram sent the day after this exciting historical event took place!

Unfortunately, Scintilla was unable to market the jigsaw under the Scintilla or Bosch names. Both were blacklisted by allied powers for supplying wartime magnetos to Germany, among others. So from 1947 to 1964, the unit was marketed in the U.S. under the brand name "Lesto," Latin for "easy to handle," "maneuverable." After that, it was named "Bosch."

Improvements to the jigsaw

The jigsaw is one of the most popular power tools on the market today. In fact, Bosch has sold approximately 20 million jigsaws since it gained a majority share of Scintilla AG in 1954 and is the leading supplier of jigsaw blades in the world.

Other notable jigsaw developments from Bosch include the introduction of adjustable pendulum action in 1966, the Bosch Clic system technology for tool-less jigsaw blade changing in 1989 (using a specially designed T-shank blade), and the in-line jigsaw, an all-purpose tool that reaches into tight spots and can be used as a power rasp for shaping wood or as a high-speed brush with available accessories. To celebrate this event in 1997, Bosch introduced their 50th Anniversary Edition Jigsaw. It featured the 1587VS with a gold front gear housing and cover, black aluminum footplate, 50th anniversary gold leaf label, and a white carrying case.

For more information, call: Bosch Power Tools, 877-Bosch99 (877-267-2499).

Copyright © 1997, 1998, & 2006 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved. The previous
article, in whole or in part, appeared in the December 1997 issue of Tech Directions.

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