BMW was officially founded as a public company in 1922, but traces its origins to the pioneering days of German aviation all the way back to 1913. Two of these pioneering men, Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto, are credited by BMW as the "founding fathers". However, BMW owes its actual founding by three men: Josef Popp, Max Friz, and Camillo Castiglioni. These men brought BMW through many turbulent times in the company's early life, as well as taking the company public in 1922 to form BMW AG. BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke.
Beginning with aircraft engines, BMW AG produced a variety of products in its early years, eventually shifting to motorcycle production in 1923 and automobiles in 1929. The circular blue and white BMW logo, which has not been altered throughout the company's history, does not in fact symbolize a spinning propeller according to a BMW spokesperson (although the imagery did appear in post-WWI advertisements). The BMW roundel badge is believed to have been partially derived from the logo of its predecessor company Rapp Motorenwerke, while ultimately taking on the colors and checkers of the Bavarian flag. Significant aircraft powerplants of pre-WWII and WWII included the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet. BMW's factories were damaged badly in