Precision mechanics and the optical department: development of the factory

Shortly before the start of the Second World War, Ducati expanded its Borgo Panigale factory and opened two additional factories not far from Bologna, in Bazzano and Crespellano.

From 1938 and throughout the war, Ducati expanded its product range to include the first electric razor to be produced in Italy, the “Raselet”, the “Sogno” micro-camera, the Duconta calculator and a series of devices such as field telephones, radios, and optical equipment for the army, navy, and air forces.

The extreme high quality of these products combined with increasing levels of precision meant that Ducati manufacturing was some of the most advanced, at a time when Italy was suffering terribly as a result of the conflict.

Paradoxically, this Ducati “excellence” would prove crucial in terms of what was to come in subsequent years. It was a terrible time and, with the armistice of the Italian forces on 8 September 1943, the factory was occupied by German troops who continued with the enforced production. As a result of the occupation, Ducati became a strategic target and was bombed by the American “flying fortresses” on 12 October 1944.

The company needed to get back on its feet, and fast. From the ashes of the factory came the idea to launch new products, designed for customers who sought economical new forms of transportation. And so began the adventure of the “Cucciolo”, in 1946, with the new production very much inspired by the good that had come before.

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