- CZECH MADE
Poslechněte si podcast: Futuristic Tatra cars – one of the icons of Czechoslovak design
When it comes to Czech cars, most people undoubtedly think of Škoda. However, Czechoslovakia’s car production has long been associated with another automobile brand – Tatra. The company’s futuristic-looking aerodynamic passenger cars first appeared on the roads in the 1930s, and have since become one of the icons of Czechoslovak design.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words “Czech Republic”?
Moser Crystal Glass - Czechia’s most luxurious brand
Czech glass is known throughout the world for its craftsmanship and artistic qualities. The history of the glassmaking industry dates all the way back to the Middle Ages, when the first glassworks were built in the deep Bohemian forests. Today, there are dozens of glassmaking factories and studios around the Czech Republic, but perhaps the best-known of them is Moser, based in the West-Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary.
Merkur: The Czech toy with which you can build cities
For nearly 100 years, Merkur toys have been a popular component of many a child’s toy set. Its easy-to-use metal strips can be used to construct almost anything, including miniature cities, railway lines and towers. Merkur has also been praised as an educational tool. Despite being a sought after toy until this day, the story of its founder resembles that of many Czech twentieth century entrepreneurs in its tragic turn from hero to zero.
Becherovka – The unique herbal liquor from Karlovy Vary
With a proud history spanning over 200 years, the Becherovka herbal liquor is among the most famous alcoholic beverages produced in the Czech Republic. The recipe was famously created by the Becher family and remains a closely guarded secret to this day.
Velorex - How tinkering in a wartime workshop led to one of Czechia’s most famous vehicles
Velorex is the name of a unique, three wheeled vehicle which runs on a motorcycle engine. It was designed by brothers František and Mojmír Stránský during World War Two. Over 15,000 Velorex’s were made until the 1970s. Today, thousands of these machines are still registered in the Czech Republic and have become somewhat of a collectors item among historical vehicle enthusiasts.
Czech Made: Koh-i-noor snap buttons
In the first half of the 20th century, the Czech entrepreneur Jindřich Waldes was known as the “king of snap buttons”, and nearly as famous as the founder of the Baťa shoe dynasty, a major client. In fact, he was fond of saying “If Baťa can’t make something cheaper, then it’s a Waldes product.” The outspoken, gregarious Czech patriot was also a celebrated patron of the arts – especially of painter František Kupka, who helped create the company’s iconic symbol, the Koh-i-noor girl. Waldes and his partner Hynek Puc brought to market machine-pressed snaps on a scale never seen before.
Czech Made: The Jawa motorcycle
Few Czechoslovak products have been as internationally successful as the Jawa motorcycle. For a period of more than a decade the company’s models dominated their respective international markets, while at the same time helping Czechoslovak racers win several competitions. Despite a fall from grace in the last decades of the twentieth century, Jawa continues to exist as a brand and its machines are still produced at home and abroad.
Czech Made: The Remoska mini-oven
The Remoska oven has been a household name in this country for over sixty years now, braving competition from ever more sophisticated kitchen appliances. The Czech-invented multipurpose oven is popular with older generations and young families alike and its revamped version even expanded overseas as far as the United States and Australia.
Czech Made: The soft contact lens
The contact lens – a tiny, soft, see-through thing, weighing next to nothing, yet it makes a huge difference in our lives. Hundreds of millions of people around the world wear contacts every day, but they may not be aware that the invention of the modern soft contact lens came from this country.
Czech Made: Zetor – one of Czechoslovakia’s greatest export articles
The Zetor tractor, which started to be produced nearly 75 years ago, is one of the most famous Czech trademarks and one of Czechoslovakia’s greatest export articles. Find out more about the iconic tractor in this edition of Czech Made!
Czech Made: the Veverkas' revolutionary ‘Ruchadlo’ plough
The Veverka cousins invented a revolutionary plough in 1827 known as the ‘Ruchadlo’, which cut, lifted and turned soil upside down by means of a curved plate. So why weren’t they better known outside of Bohemia? Find out in the latest edition of our Czech Made series!