Born in Munich on June 23, 1859 and the son of a brewer, Johann Baptist Winklhofer was later apprenticed as a mechanic. From 1880 onwards he began to take a close interest in the high-wheel or “penny-farthing” bicycle, which was fashionable at that time.
Johann Baptist Winklhofer began to sell English penny-farthing bicycles made by the Rudge company in 1883 as the manufacturer’s travelling representative. During this period he made the acquaintance of the man who was to become his partner later, Richard Adolf Jaenicke. In 1885 they joined forces to start a bicycle repair workshop in the town of Chemnitz. A year later they began to produce their own bicycles and sell them under the “Wanderer” name.
Wanderer Fahrradwerke AG
Starting on October 1, 1897, after Wanderer had been converted into a joint-stock company in 1896 (and renamed Wanderer Fahrradwerke AG), Winklhofer was its sole director. In 1902 he withdrew from this position and joined the company’ Supervisory Board, of which he remained a member until 1929. In 1916 he established a second company in Munich, initially to manufacture munitions for the armed forces, and later transmission chains for machinery and motor vehicles. These were marketed successfully as the IWIS brand, an abbreviation of the name Johann Winklhofer Söhne (Sons). Johann Baptist Winklhofer died on March 28, 1949 in Landsberg on the River Lech.