A Lasting Tribute to a Life of Innovation
In 1911, Conrad Jobst was an enterprising young mechanical engineer who had just left Germany for a career in the United States. He moved to Toledo in 1913 and became chief engineer for the Toledo Tap and Dye Corporation.
Mr. Jobst was a brilliant man who possessed a keen intellect and inquisitive nature. Throughout the years, he used his skills to invent and develop a number of technologies for industrial use. His patent for the first automatic brush-making machine was the foundation for the Automatic Brush Machine Company, where Mr. Jobst would serve as chief engineer and vice president. His talents, however, helped build more than businesses. During both World Wars I and II, Mr. Jobst served as a production consultant. His wartime efforts helped develop gun sights for aerial combat and threading tools for automotive equipment. A testament to his ingenuity and diligence was the variety of his many inventions: over the course of his career, he patented more than 40 items—including the automobile sunroof.
It was a personal problem that led Mr. Jobst to an invention that would help thousands of people worldwide. He suffered from lower extremity venous insufficiency, which often caused him a lot of discomfort. Realizing that the hydrostatic pressure of a swimming pool eased his symptoms, he sought to replicate that effect in a therapeutic garment. The result of his brainstorming was the first elastic stockings designed specifically to help leg circulation. The stockings improved his condition dramatically. He began mass production of the stockings soon after so others could benefit from the design.
Mr. Jobst died in 1957. His wife, Caroline, assumed the presidency of the company for the next 27 years. Inspired by her late husband’s legacy for invention and creative solutions to commonplace problems, she developed the company into a multinational organization with offices in 33 cities around the world—and the largest manufacturer of surgical stockings, pumps and supports in the world.
In 1989, Mrs. Jobst established an endowment fund for creation of the Jobst Vascular Center at ProMedica Toledo Hospital, the Conrad Jobst Vascular Research Laboratories of the University of Michigan and education and research programs such as the Conrad Jobst Lectureship. She sought to honor her husband’s memory by supporting the world-class treatment of vascular disease through the many services of the Jobst Vascular Institute. By funding the efforts of skilled researchers in vascular care through the Conrad Jobst Lectureship and the Jobst Research Fellowship program, Mrs. Jobst paid tribute to her late husband’s intellectual curiosity and tenacity.
Mrs. Jobst died in 1993. Thanks to her efforts and philanthropic support, the Jobst Vascular Institute continues to strive for its goals of outstanding vascular care and cutting-edge vascular research. Our daily commitment to these goals is our way of paying tribute to the inspiring legacies of Conrad and Caroline Jobst.