Contact: Wayne Riley
BROADVIEW, IL, July 30, 2002 - Winter is coming. You might want to install 100 year old spark plugs to make sure your vehicle starts in the cold weather!
Actually, we're just using that suggestion to point out that the first commercially viable spark plug was patented by German engineer Robert Bosch in 1902. And although greatly advanced and refined in materials, technology, construction and lifespan, the latest spark plugs of today bear a striking similarity to his original design.
Before Bosch introduced his high voltage spark plug, going anywhere in a "motor car” was a sometime thing. Sometime you went, and sometime you didn't. One of the main problems was the "hot tube" or early low voltage engine ignition systems, with crude devices to hopefully ignite fuel and air in the engine. Using these systems, early automobiles were primitive and unreliable at best, and only the wealthy, adventurous and mechanically inclined even dared to own them.
In 1902 Robert Bosch changed all that, and his developments were to help make the automobile readily available to all. Shortly after he perfected the magneto, which generates high voltage from a magnetic field, he developed and patented his high voltage spark plug to go with it. He sold the idea to Carl Benz, pioneer gasoline engine inventor, who immediately began installing the Bosch spark plug and high-voltage magneto ignition system into his automobiles.
Benz and Bosch quickly turned to racing competition to prove the worth of the new system, and the next year a Mercedes Type 60, equipped with the Bosch spark plugs, won the 1903 international Gordon Bennett Race in Ireland. Bosch's involvement with racing to test and improve the products continued on both sides of the Atlantic, and in 1911 he equipped driver Ray Harroun with his spark plugs for the very first running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race. Harroun won the race in a Marmon Wasp.
The 100 years since 1902 have seen continuous advances in spark plug technology. The performance benefits of modern era spark plugs provide a more powerful spark for efficient and complete engine combustion, resulting in greatly reduced exhaust emissions, greater fuel economy, and smoother acceleration, over a longer performance life.
The Bosch Platinum Series (Platinum, Platinum2 and Platinum+4) are examples of advanced spark plug design. These plugs feature an exclusive “pure platinum” center electrode technology that's heat-fused into an extended ceramic insulator for an airtight seal resulting in full engine power at all times. These plugs provide motorists with all levels of premium performance.
Spark plugs alone, of course, will not ensure that your car or truck is operating at peak performance and efficiency. In addition to installing fresh spark plugs, automotive experts recommend that you check and replace worn-out oxygen sensors, install fresh filters, check that timing is set accurately, make sure fluids are fresh and at proper levels, check that electrical and charging systems are functioning properly -- and that tires are inflated to the recommended pressure.
Prospective client had been getting no publicity for 100 year old spark plug centennial. I developed the 'Install 100 Year Old Spark Plugs' approach and issued general national release plus story to publicity service. Whammo! Produced immediate widespread coverage, 1.5 million clips all over North America in less than a year, and a new client. Supported by agency-wide all hands on deck we launched years of positive publicity for the new client.