The history of the company started in a backyard in Stuttgart-West as the Werkstätte für Feinmechanik und Elektrotechnik on November 15, 1886. One year later, Bosch presented the first low voltage magneto for gas engines. Twenty years later, the first magneto for automobiles followed.

The first factory was opened by Bosch in Stuttgart in 1901. In 1906, the company produced its 100,000-th magneto. In the same year, Bosch introduced the 8-hours day for workers. In 1910, the Feuerbach plant was founded and built close to Stuttgart. In this factory, Bosch started to produce headlights in 1913.

In 1917, Bosch was transformed into a corporation.