Ferdinando Innocenti Ferdinando Innocenti was born in Pescia on the 1st September 1891. His father, Dante Innocenti, a blacksmith, soon moved to the town of Grosseto, where he opened a hardware store in Via Galilei, while continuing his activity as a smith. A few years later a second store was opened in Corso Carducci. Ferdinando, after having completed his 3rd year in a technical school, started his activity with his father and his half-brother Rosolino (son of his father’s first marriage) at the head of the "Ferramenta Innocenti" (1906). Thanks to all the activities, at this time the family was already well-off.

At 18, young Ferdinando was leading the family enterprise and started trading iron mainly recovered from the firms engaged in the drainage of the Maremma marshes. Iron was exchanged with oil, and the oil sale gave high profits.

In 1920 he started experimenting the possible applications of iron tubes and in 1923 he moved to Rome where he planned to invest about half a million lire in the expansion of his activity. As luck would have it, the Bank where his money was deposited went bankrupt after a few months and Ferdinando was forced to slow down and devote his time to recover the large sum of money.

Despite this misfortune, Ferdinando was not discouraged and soon started to trade the Mannesmann seamless steel pipes produced by Dalmine. 1928 saw a boom in the building sector and the economic situation in Italy was flourishing. Agriculture was also growing, thanks to the policy of the fascist regime and the consequent disappearance of the trade unions’ activity. A negative outlet of the governement policy was however a 11-12% decrease in wages between 1921 and 1924.

From 1921 to 1931 the fascist regime set out a great plan of building and remoderning, particularly in the capital. During this decade, Rome looked like a huge builder’s yard and the general mood was the "monumental renaissance of the city". Ferdinando seized the opportunity and in 1926 he opened in Via Porto Fluviale a tube storage warehouse and plant where he made products for the building activity. The "Fratelli Innocenti", as the company was called in 1930, started producing tube scaffoldings in 1933. The British Scaffolding’s mounting-dismantling special rapid system was applied.

In 1931, Ferdinando started building a plant of rain irrigation in the Castelgandolfo Pope’s Gardens (14 hectares). The water was supplied by lake Albano. Immediately after, he worked on a similar plant for the Vatican Gardens, and then he completed a fire-fighting and a thermoelectric plant. He also used his scaffolding patent for the Cappella Sistina, where he had the opportunity to show the quality of the project: the scaffolding was assembled and dismantled in a very short time, and without interfering with the priceless Michelangelo’s wall paintings. Franco Ratti count of Desio, a nephew of Pio XI, and Leone Castelli, owner of a building enterprise working in the Vatican, were providential in allowing Ferdinando to take part in the project of the Cappella Sistina. The project was concluded by the end of 1935 and at the beginning of the following year Ferdinando was charged to mount a 6,000 square metres wide covered complex with his tubes for the world exhibition of the Catholic Press.

The firm obtained contracts of great prestige, which not only helped transform the artisanal enterprise in an industrial company but gained to it more profits which contributed to its enlargement. In 1932 the industrial production recorded a 27% decrease if compared to 1928, but Ferdinando Innocenti decided Milan was the right spot to move into with his activity. The city was in fact very active, the Central Station was then being built, and the economic crisis was not as bad as elsewhere. In northern Italy, Innocenti had a privileged position and won many contracts. In 1929, because of the serious crisis, 300,000 people were recorded as being out of work, and they increased to more than one million in 1931, 715,000 of whom in the industrial sector.
With the help of Ratti who was then in the Dalmine’s Board of Directors and had also important positions in other companies, and especially with the help of his Vatican friendships, Ferdinando won contracts for works in the Vatican Castelgandolfo. The seat of Fratelli Innocenti was then officially opened in Via S. Paolo 18.

The 20 workers of 1929 were more than a hundred in 1931, when the company started the production of mobile and fixed irrigation plants. The factory in via Pitteri (Milano Lambrate) was built in 1933. Here, the now tested Innocenti scaffoldings were produced and traded. A new plant was built in October 1933 on a strip of land between Via Pitteri and the Lambro. To start production, a number of workers moved in from Rome.

In November 1933 the name of the company changed into "Fratelli Innocenti Societ� Anonima per Applicazioni Tubolari in Acciaio". The main seat was in Rome, Via XX Settembre, the company’s assets 5,000 shares worth 1,000 Italian lire each. Of these, 3,100 belonged to Ferdinando and 1,900 to Rosolino. To reach this sum the company asked a bond loan worth 5,000,000 lire, split in 5,000 bonds worth 1,000 lire each with a 4% yearly interest. Sole Administrator, Ferdinando Innocenti.



Italy, more than any other country, is known for its motorscooters. In the movies, a photograph of Rome, or in a story about this sunbathed country, the motorscooters is an obvious feature in the Italian way of life. The name most often mentioned when scooters are discussed is Lambretta, and the story of this marquee is a study of the post war industrialisation of Italy. The Lambretta, like many of its European brothers, is locked up and interwoven with a parent company that produces many other products in addition to its two-wheeled vehicles.

It all began in Italy with Innocenti's first scooter, the Model (M) rolled off the production line in 1947. The M went on to be known as the Model A, and from then on the success of Lambretta grew and grew. Who would have thought even today Ferdinando Innocenti and his designers idea of getting Italy mobile after the war, would continue to be a passion, way of life, and a mode of transport, even today.

At first Innocenti struggled to make it's scooter profitable, such was the attention to detail and quest for perfection, but in the early stages huge set up costs and small production volumes all added to the overall costs of the machines. As time went on, the factory became more and more modern, efficient and with each machine production volumes rose quickly making the Lambretta a profitable and viable product.

Innocenti's main market to start with was its home Italian market, but they soon looked for new markets to expand sales and the word of Lambretta. All parts of Europe soon began selling these small scooters, and then most other parts of the world also saw the Lambretta hit their shores.

Innocenti soon realised that by granting licences to manufacture scooters to various countries around the world would not only allow the Lambretta to be sold in more countries around the world, but also saw them gain royalties from such ventures without capitol outlay from the main factory itself.

Some of the countries around the world that seek licences from Innocenti were, Spain, France, Germany, India, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and more. Although some producers did market the Lambretta under differing names, such as the Serveta from Spain, the Siambretta from South America, they all share the family design that came originally from Italy.

Many of these factories continued to produce Lambrettas long after Innocenti close it doors. The Italian factory when it finally closed it's doors, was sold to the Indian Government who set up S.I.L, Scooters India Limited who continue even today to produce a version of the Lambro three wheeled Vehicle.

The last two wheeled scooters to roll of the production lines of the various factories was as follows -
Italy: Production ceased 1972
Spain: Production ceased 1989
India: Production ceased 1998
France: Believed to be 1958
Germany: Innocenti based products ceased in 1956, but the continued for a few years under NSU Prima
South American: Not know, some factories still exist today, but making cars
The Innocenti name is still used in Brazil.



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