roviva Roth & Cie AG | Schulhausstrasse 6 | 3380 Wangen A/Aare, Schweiz | Tel. +41 032 631 12 22 | Fax +41 032 631 12 24 | email@example.com
It isn't only fairy tales that begin with "Once upon a time ...", but also industrial histories.
Foundation of the Roth horsehair spinning mill by 33-year-old Johannes Roth in Wangen an der Aare, Switzerland. At the time, he could hardly have imagined that this step would lay the foundation for a very successful family business.
Using the simplest of methods, horsehair is processed into padding for mattresses, cushions and seating.
The raw materials (hair from horse tails and manes) are purchased primarily from abroad, including from South America, but also from France and Russia via wholesalers.
Mechanical production processes are first introduced. The 3rd generation installs the first steam engine in the works. In the washing shop, the horsehair is washed in a wooden washtub using soap and hot water.
After being washed and disinfected under pressure and high temperatures in an autoclave, the horsehair is graded according to quality and colour in the sorting shop.
To make the horsehair spinnable, it is first disentangled and rearranged into loose, parallel strands on large carding machines.
During spinning, a horsehair strand is twisted and then twisted over (curled) by a second person.
In order for horsehair to retain its twisted crimp (permanently set), the crimp in the strand is steamed.
The 5th generation sees the company change from being a sole proprietorship to a partnership. The white horse which is being led by a Moor remains the company's trademark for over two centuries.
Under the leadership of the 6th family generation, horsehair for the brush-making industry and pig bristles for paintbrush manufacture are prepared in the company's new division. This is where horsehair is combed and then bound without being twisted.
The horse hair spinning company Roth & Cie wins the gold medal at the Swiss National Exhibition in Geneva. In 1914, the company wins again at the Swiss National Exhibition in Bern.
The 5th, 6th and 7th generations of the Roth family in Wangen an der Aare.
For softer, more comfortable sleep, both sides of the horsehair mattress are padded with new sheep's wool. For this, the white sheep's wool is finely teased, then carded and placed down in layers.
In the background, the enlarged factory site of the Roth & Cie. horse hair spinning mill. In the foreground, the buildings of the Rikli red dye-works.
Letterhead dating from 1914 which proudly highlights the awards received.
For the customers of the time, saddlers and upholsterers, the spun horsehair is untwisted again for further processing.
Revolutionary for the time and for the townscape of Wangen an der Aare, the new 4-storey forwarding company building with flat roof by Alfred Roth (7th generation).
Roth & Cie's finished goods are transported to customers and to the railway using the company's own horse and cart.
The 7th generation introduces the production of shaped or rubberised horsehair. This serves to greatly simplify the process of upholstery. Moulds and other shapes are filled with horsehair that has been wetted with liquid latex milk, and then vulcanised.
Orders and raw materials become scarce between the world wars. Employees and their families are forced to make considerable sacrifices during this uncertain time.
The company produces horsehair yarn for the production of linings used in the textile industry. This horsehair yarn is mainly used in men's clothing for the collar area in high-quality garments.
On 13 July 1945, after the Second World War, a first load of foreign raw materials was finally able to be imported and collected at the railway station.
View of the factory from the southeast in ca. 1947. A dominant chimney stack can be seen together with the modern new building designed by architect Prof. Dr. h.c. Alfred Roth (7th generation).
Artistic letterhead from 1947 showing the grown company from a bird's eye view.
The company celebrates its 200th anniversary with its workforce.
Until about 1950, this is what Swiss citizens slept on for healthy sleep: a horsehair mattress, lovingly handcrafted, shaped and stitched together by a specialist.
Our initial advertising for a good horsehair mattress.
Our mattresses are used everywhere. Even at over 2500 metres in the huts belonging to the Swiss Alpine Club SAC.
The visions of the 1950s and 60s have a new focus: synthetic materials. The 8th generation of the family oversees the installation of an in-house polyurethane foaming facility and a manufacturing section for foamed plastics.
Dressed horsehair as a finished product for the brush industry. One kilogram of dressed, black-dyed or white-bleached brush hair costs between 30 and 35 francs, depending on the quality.
The introduction of new products sees the old trademark of the horse replaced by the modern and dynamic roviva brand.
The 8th generation commences the industrial production of mattresses. Natural latex foam is used as a mattress core material for the first time in order to achieve a new level of comfort. The company produces the first latex mattress in Switzerland.
Advertising for roviva's new mattresses.
Initially made of rubberised hair, but now of polyurethane, thousands of seat cushions and car seats are manufactured in the moulding shop for General Motors in Biel (Opel assembly plant) and Chrysler in Schinznach (Valiant model). Truck manufacturers like Saurer, FBW and Berna, as well as railcar manufacturers like Schindler, Schlieren, Pratteln and Neuhausen join the list of customers.
The production of frame inserts commences. The roviva anatomica model, whose extensive spring travel extends right to the mattress peripheries, is the most flexible frame insert on the market at the time.
Factory view from the south.
Advertising to commemorate the 225th anniversary.
The company's own vehicles are used to deliver roviva mattresses and frame inserts to specialist bedding retailers in Switzerland.
A devastating fire on 15 June 1978 on the company site destroys practically half of the buildings and production facilities.
A new age dawns: the modern era. After the major fire in June 1978, the high chimney stack is felled and a period of fervent construction activity and investment in new production facilities commences.
Introduction of the successful roviva natura mattress line. The sleeping system consists of a padded slat base and a mattress made of natural latex with thick padding of horsehair and wool.
roviva celebrates its 250th anniversary; a quarter of a millennium in the pursuit of healthy and natural sleep.
Employees start work in the southern extension building for mattress production. The new prestigious glass building with integrated office wing was already constructed and inaugurated in 1994.
The company's success continues into its third millennium. The new roviva dream-away sleep system which boasts highly flexible lower springing and the first ventilation system (original Airbellows) for a mattress enters the market. A further innovation from roviva.
Successful presentation of the latest generation of our premium sleep system, roviva dream-away. roviva dream-away is the test winner in the scientific comparative study carried out by the independent company Ergonomie & Technologie GmbH in conjunction with the Institute for Hygiene and Occupational Physiology (IHA) at the ETH Zurich and is awarded the rating "very good".
The roviva television campaign featuring a likeable butterfly fairy and her cheerful message from the test winner kicks off: "Pssst, it's not a dream ...".
roviva celebrates its 260th anniversary. This anniversary, which is unique in the history of Swiss industry, is celebrated with a new TV campaign entitled "Only roviva mattresses have such a long history ...".
Launch of the new roviva papillon sleep system; the sleep system for particularly light sleepers. In 2010, the sleep system is awarded a rating of "very good" by the consumer magazine K-Tipp (issue 1/2010) and comes out on top in the test.
Peter Paul Roth, 8th generation, pens the book "Aus Tradition erfolgreich" (Successful by tradition) to mark the anniversary. The history and products of roviva Roth & Cie AG are portrayed in an engaging and easy-to-read manner on 230 pages that feature 300 photographs.
Construction of the new "SleepBox" high-bay warehouse that is over 13,000 m3 in size. It provides roviva with scope to enlarge its production capacities in roviva's main buildings. The new roviva Premium Collection is presented and celebrated in the warehouse at the start of 2010.
roviva wins the Red Dot Design Award. Sporting outstanding and innovative design, the newest incarnation of the roviva dream-away sleep system wins over the international panel of experts in one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world. roviva dream-away is now exhibited at the red dot design museum in Essen, Germany.
The new "Sleep is sensual. Feel the difference?" advertising campaign is launched with a new television commercial and new print advertising and transports customers into a new, sensual world.
The AU SOMMET up-market brand is launched – Haute Literie Suisse depuis 1748. Exquisite St. Gallen embroideries from Forster Willi, St. Gallen, a traditional embroidery company, are used for the first time for mattresses and beds in AU SOMMET. AU SOMMET pays homage to sleep, beauty and quality and carries these Swiss virtues out into the world.
"Sleep is sensual. Feel the difference?" The new TV commercial continues this world of slumber and succeeds in enchanting the viewers of Swiss television.
The new aura designer bed is launched (design: Sandro Halter). This aesthetically pleasing, natural wood bed frame provides the perfect setting for roviva's high-quality mattresses.
"High time for roviva sleep enjoyment". The new advertising campaign is received as being youthful and fresh and underscores the values roviva lives by.
roviva launches sublimely natural sleep enjoyment. The new roviva activa sleep system compels by virtue of its natural materials, sustainability and the patent-pending Swiss Balance Support.
The new rovia activa balance frame system wins the Red Dot Design Award 2018. Our innovative frame system wins over the international panel of experts at one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world.
Our new commercial goes to air to coincide with the butterfly promotion period! Smile with us.
Today, roviva continues to be operated by the 9th generation of the founding Roth family and is 100% family-owned. As such, it ranks among the oldest family businesses in the world.