Simms was born in Hamburg, Germany on August 12, 1863. He became a British mechanical engineer, businessman and inventor. He was a personal friend of Gottlieb Daimler and became involved in the company that eventually became known as Daimler-Benz. In association with Robert Bosch, he invented the magneto and started the Simms Magneto Company in New Jersey. The company eventually went on to produce electrical items through the 1940s and later was bought out by the British company Lucas.
But by those in the collision repair industry, Simms is not remembered for his achievements in the world of automotive electrics. Simms is known as the inventor of what is arguably the most maligned safety item ever---the automotive bumper.