The History of Piaggio
In 1884, a twenty year old boy named Rinaldo Piaggio founded Piaggio, a Genoa-based firm which initially manufactured locomotives and other parts. After a few years, the company started producing rail carriages, goods vans, coaches, engines and truck bodies while during the World War I it even created airplanes and seaplanes. In 1917, Piaggio decided to buy a new plant in Pisa while after four years it expanded with a new one in Pontedera. This latest addition is actually the place where Vespa, a famous name on the motorcycle market, was founded many years later. Although this plant was massively damaged by bombs, Enrico Piaggio, Rinaldo's son, had the resources to rebuild it.
After the war was ended, Enrico Piaggio wanted to build a bike that would be addressed to all kinds of consumers and above all, a low cost product available to all of them.
In order to reach this goal, he designed a scooter called Paperino, meaning Donald Duck, but, due to the fact that Enrico wasn't happy with it, Corradino D'Ascanio, the designer of the bike, had to re-build it. As a result, the company designed the Vespa, the scooter launched in 1946.