Recently, Stefan Niesłuchowski, a retired electrician and participant in the Warsaw Uprising, came to Bosch Poland headquarters to donate the drill to Bosch – a power tool he had used from 1945 to this day. In exchange for the historical power tool, he was given a new battery-operated drill-driver. A good occasion for an interview about a very special tool.
How did you buy the drill?
In 1945, after I lost my house in the Warsaw Uprising, I went to Kraków and then to Wroclaw, where my family and I were promised a house once the Germans moved out. I was in contact with the German family and I knew they would sell some of the things they would not be able to take along with them. The drill was among these goods for sale.
Do you still use the drill today? What did you use it for all these years?
I first used the drill in the 6th grade, in the practical classes for boys. I used it to make a doormat from wooden panels. I took after my father in pursuing DIY as a hobby, so the drill, saw, and hammer were my main tools. Later, I used it to fix my bike, for example – to attach the dynamo, lamp, and many other elements. The drill was also extremely helpful when I was building my home, as it was very difficult to obtain materials. I used it to mount the pipes, for example. I drilled different materials, such as brass, aluminum, ebony, and wood. In the Soviet era, when I travelled abroad to Western countries, I was very surprised to see people throwing away good, working things into the dumpster, and I often collected them to bring back to Poland. This is how I made our new kitchen, for instance. Nowadays, we throw away working things and buy new ones instead of improving the old. This is also why I decided to give this tool to Bosch, in order to let people and associates see how tools used to be produced.
Did you have to repair this tool at all during its more than 70 years of use?
I only replaced the brushes and broken electric cable, but the plug is an original Schuko. After some time, the handle fell off, but other than that the drill has not been repaired in any way. Sometimes I lent the tool out, but I’m not aware of any major repairs. I was in the army for two years, so my family was free to use it, but nobody admitted to doing so during that time.
What do you associate Bosch with?
I associate the brand with this drill. My next drill was also a Bosch, as was my washing machine. We bought it at the market while we were living in Rzeszów. There was not a great deal of choice in those days. We were advised not to take any other brand of washing machine, as we would still be using the Bosch for many years to come. And indeed, we have been using it for 25 years now.
Do you have a soft spot for this drill? Is it difficult to part with it?
I do, because I have been using it for so many years, and to this day I felt it might come in handy again at some point. This was not a relic for me, but an everyday tool. It has been with me all my life, as I was 12 years old when I bought it. Back then, I also had a vice, but I lost it.