Foundation of the horse hair spinning mill Roth by the 33-year-old Johannes Roth in Wangen an der Aare, Switzerland. At the time, he could hardly have guessed, that with this step he was laying the foundation stone for an extremely successful family business.
Under the simplest conditions horsehair is processed into upholstery material for mattresses, cushions and seatings.
The raw materials (hair from horse's tail and mane) are mainly purchased from abroad, e.g. from South America, but also from France or Russia via wholesale.
The mechanical operation is started. The 3rd generation installs the first steam engine in operation. In the laundry the horsehairs are washed hot in Levian with soap.
After washing and disinfection under pressure and high temperatures in an autoclave, the horsehair is separated according to quality and colour in the sorting plant.
In order for the horsehair to be spinnable, it is first stretched on large carding machines and processed parallel and loosely.
In spinning, a horsehair strand is twisted, which is overtwisted (curled) by a second person.
To ensure that the horse hair retains its twisted curl (permanent wave), the frizz on the strand is damped.
With the 5th generation the company changes from a sole proprietorship to a general partnership. The white horse remains as a trademark for over two centuries.
Under the 6th generation, horsehair and pig bristles for the brush industry are trued up in a new branch of the company. Here the horsehair is combed and straightened.
The horse hair spinning mill 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 Roth family represented by the 5th, 6th and 7th generation in Wangen an der Aare.
For a softer sleeping comfort, the horsehair mattress is upholstered on both sides with pure new sheep's wool. For this purpose, the white virgin sheep's wool is finely plucked on the wool card, carded and laid in layers.
In the background the grown factory area of the horsehair spinning mill Roth & Cie. in the foreground the buildings of the red dyeing mill Rikli.
Letterhead from the year 1914, which proudly refers to the awards received.
For the then clientele of saddlers and upholsterers, the spun horsehair is turned up again for further processing.
Roth & Cie's finished goods are transported to customers and onto the railways with its own horse and cart.
The 7th generation introduces the production of mould hair or rubber hair. This greatly simplifies the upholstery process. Moulds and other models are filled with horsehair, which has been wetted with liquid latex milk, and then vulcanised.
During and between the world wars, labour and raw materials are in short supply. Employees and their families have to make do without a lot during this uncertain period.
The company produces horsehair yarn for the production of linings in the textile industry. This horsehair yarn is mainly used in men's clothing for high-quality dresses in the collar area.
On 13 July 1945, after the Second World War, a first load of foreign raw materials can finally be reimported and collected from the railway station.
Factory view around 1947, from the southeast, with the dominant high chimney and the modern new building by architect Prof. Dr. h.c. Alfred Roth (7th generation).
Artful letterhead from 1947, showing a bird's eye view of the growing company.
The company celebrates its 200th anniversary with its workforce.
Until about 1950, a healthy sleeping mattress of a Swiss man looked like this: a horsehair mattress, lovingly handcrafted, shaped and filed by an expert.
Our advertisement for a good horsehair mattress at the beginning.
Our mattresses are at home everywhere. Even at over 2500 metres altitude in the huts of the Swiss Alpine Club SAC.
The dreams of the 50s and 60s are made of plastic. Under the 8th generation, an own polyurethane foaming plant as well as a ready-made foam department are attached.
Prepared horsehair as finished product for the brush industry. One kilogram of trimmed, black or white bleached brush hair costs between 30 and 35 Swiss francs, depending on the quality.
With the introduction of the new products, the old trademark of the horse gives way to the modern and dynamic brand roviva.
Advertising for the new mattresses from roviva.
Initially made of rubber hair, now of polyurethane, thousands of cushions and car seats for General Motors in Biel (Opel assembly plant) and Chrysler in Schinznach (Valiant model) are produced in the mould foaming shop. Other customers include truck companies such as Saurer, FBW and Berna, as well as railway carriage factories such as Schindler, Schlieren, Pratteln and Neuhausen.
Start of the production of insert frames. The model roviva anatomica with a high spring travel up to the edge zone is the most flexible insert frame on the market at this time.
Factory view from the south.
Advertising for the 225 year anniversary.
The roviva mattresses and insert frames are delivered to specialist dealers in Switzerland using our own vehicles.
Devastating fire on 15 June 1978 on the company premises, destroying almost half of the buildings and production facilities.
Departure to modern times. After the major fire in June 1978, the tall chimney is felled in the autumn and a period of brisk construction activity and investment in new production facilities begins.
Introduction of the successful mattress line roviva natura. The sleeping system consists of an upholstered slat base and a mattress made of natural latex with thick padding of horsehair and new wool.
roviva celebrates its 250th anniversary; a quarter millennium in the service of healthy and natural sleep.
The extension building south for the mattress production is occupied. The new, representative glass house with integrated office wing was already built and inaugurated in 1994.
The step into the third millennium. The new roviva dream-away sleep system with highly flexible slat base and the first ventilation system (original airbellows) for top mattresses is launched. Once again an innovation from roviva.
Successful presentation of the latest generation of our premium sleep system roviva dream-away. In the scientific comparison study by the independent Ergonomie & Technologie GmbH, in cooperation with the Institute for Hygiene and Occupational Physiology IHA of the ETH Zurich, roviva dream-away becomes test winner and receives the rating "very good".
Start of the roviva TV campaign with the likeable butterfly fairy and her happy message from the test winner: "Pssst, it's not a dream...
roviva celebrates its 260th birthday. This anniversary, unique in Swiss industrial history, is being celebrated with a new TV campaign "Only roviva mattresses have such a long history...".
Launch of the new roviva papillon sleeping system; the sleeping system for particularly sensitive sleepers. In 2010 the sleeping system receives the award "very good" from the consumer magazine K-Tipp (issue 1/2010) and becomes test winner.
Peter Paul Roth, 8th generation, writes the book "Aus Tradition erfolgreich" (Successful by Tradition) to mark the anniversary. On more than 230 pages and with over 300 pictures, the history and the products of roviva Roth & Cie AG in the past and today are described in an entertaining way.
Construction of the new high-bay warehouse "SleepBox" with a volume of over 13'000 m3. With this, roviva creates space for the further expansion of production in the roviva main buildings. At the beginning of 2010 the new roviva Premium Collection will be presented and celebrated there.
roviva wins the red dot design award. With its outstanding and innovative design, the latest generation of the roviva dream-away sleep system convinces the international expert jury in one of the most renowned design competitions in the world. roviva dream-away is now exhibited in the red dot design museum in Essen/Germany.
The new advertising campaign "Sleeping is sensual. Feel the difference" with a new TV spot and new print advertising starts and seduces customers into a new, sensual world.
Launch of the high-end brand AU SOMMET - Haute Literie Suisse depuis 1748: For the first time for AU SOMMET, fine St. Gallen embroideries from the traditional company Forster Willi, St. Gallen are used for the mattress and bed area. AU SOMMET is a homage to sleep, beauty and quality and carries the Swiss virtues out into the world.
"Sleeping is sensual. Feel the difference", the new TV spot continues this dream world and enchants viewers on Swiss television.
The new manufacture bed aura is launched (Design Sandro holder). This beautifully designed natural wood bed provides the perfect frame for roviva's high-quality bed contents.
"High time for roviva sleeping pleasure". The new advertising campaign is young and fresh and underlines the values of roviva.
roviva launches the most natural sleeping pleasure. The new roviva activa sleeping system impresses with natural materials, sustainability and the Swiss Balance Support (patent pending).
The new system frame roviva activa balance wins the Red Dot Design Award 2018. roviva activa balance convinced the international jury of experts at one of the most renowned design competitions in the world.
Just in time for the Butterfly Weeks in autumn our new commercial is released! Smile with us.
Our exclusive manufacture bed aura gets a little sister. The new wooden bed aurelia is manufactured in 6 different types of natural wood.
roviva expands its range of beds with the new upholstered bed ambiance. You can choose between countless design variants, fabrics and faux leathers.
From March onwards, a new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which originated in China, will dominate global affairs. Lockdowns with closure of shops, schools and borders and further interventions in personal freedoms to protect the population are the consequences.
Today roviva is managed by the 9th generation of the founding family Roth and is 100% family-owned. This makes it one of the oldest family businesses in the world.