Although punk was still far from emerging in the 19th century, Andre Citroen would have probably liked it. The founder of the famous avant-garde French car workshops shared a lot of the attitude that the punk-wave brought forward much later: he was a revolutionary. As US-based punk group Antiflag raised 'A New Kind of Army' with the release of one of their discs, so did Citroen within the automotive industry.
Born in 1878, Andre Citroen was the son of a wealthy diamond Dutch merchant. Upon completing his high-school years, young Andre had already become charmed by technology, a passion that he had first felt at the age of 10 when he discovered the writings of Jules Verne. At the age of 20, he enrolled at the Polytechnical school in Paris, having fully embraced the idea of becoming an engineer.
The years of study paid off and, after having worked for a time with the car company 'Mors', he moved forward to establishing his owncompany. 'Andre Citroen&Cie' was founded in 1905. Andre was only 27 at the time.
By 1913 the company had changed its name into 'Societe des Engrenages Citroen' (Citroen Cog Factory). The same year the visionary engineer founded another company mainly focused on developing carburetors based on a patent he had earlier obtained. Fascinated by the working methods of Henry Hord, he paid a visit to his assembly lines in the US, where he carefully analyzed the logical steps that had been taken in organizing such a working place.
Having seen the process and being fueled by his own desire of making cars, Citroen would deliver his first automobile in 1919, shortly after the end of World War I. Having shared a fate similar to other car builders, Citroen had to covert its assembly lines to cate for the need of arms and ammunition during wartime. It was during this period that he started thinking about the things that he would do after the war will have been over.