From the “Dufono” to the first key commissions

Construction at the Borgo Panigale site just off Via Emilia began on 1 June 1935, and the factory was already operational by March 1936.

Its position along the region’s most important road was no coincidence. Via Emilia allowed for the rapid transportation of raw materials and Borgo Panigale, located in the north-east of Bologna, afforded convenient links to Italy’s north-east and central south regions. In 1936, the year in which the Borgo Panigale factory became operational, the company grew so quickly that it went from having just two workers to employing 1400 in a highly organized and avantgarde factory. And this number grew to 4000 during the Second World War. Its production ranged from electric capacitors to radio equipment and the first office intercommunication devices known as “Dufono”.

The high-quality of Ducati production and the extreme precision of the equipment manufactured did not go unnoticed by the Fascist government, headed up by Benito Mussolini. During the period in which Italy conquered Ethiopia and Eritrea, the regime recognized the opportunity to use technological development for strategic ends and factories like Ducati, which could be easily converted and potentially implement strategic production, were obliged to follow the orders of the Fascist government.

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