The Ballad of Frederick Simms

Of all the safety equipment ever invented for a motor vehicle, none has been so ubiquitous, and been damaged so many times in so many accidents, and has generated so much income for so many parts suppliers, and provided so many labor hours for so many collision technicians, as the item invented by Frederick R. Simms.  Simms was born in Hamburg, Germany, August 12, 1863 and became a British mechanical engineer, businessman, and inventor.  He was a personal friend of Gottlieb Daimler and became involved in the company that eventually became known as Daimler-Benz.  In association with Robert Bosch, he invented the magneto.  He started the Simms Magneto Company in New Jersey.  The company eventually went on to produce a number of electrical items through the 1940’s and eventually was bought out by the British company, Lucas.  But for those in the collision repair industry, Frederick Simms is not remembered for his achievements in the world of automotive electrics.  Frederick Simms is known as the inventor of what is arguably the most maligned safety item ever – the automotive bumper.

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