In 1868 Florentine Ariosto Jones founded IWC, and with the help of swiss master watchmakers and technological advancement it had to foundation to become a powerhouse in the watchmaking industry. IWC's background is rooted in American engineering, and entrepreneurship, establishing its manufacturing factory in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Watch manufacture and industrialist Heinrich Moser built Schaffhausen's first hydroelectric plant in 1850, laying the corner stone for IWC's factory to produce pocket watches with the best possible quality. 1876 was the year Florentine sold his company, returning to America where he was an inventor of watch mechanisms and steam machinery. Johannes Rauschenbach-Vogel purchased the company in 1880 from the swiss bank, and for four generations the family held onto IWC until 1905, where the last Rauschenbach would own IWC and ownership would pass over to his wife, daughters, and their husbands.