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Three Beginnings

– breathtaking history of one Czech glassworks

ORCHIDEA

Most popular Brandy Glass with stunning floral pattern

Crystal products with ORCHIDEA and NOSTALGIA patterns are hand-cut in a glass factory with almost 100 years of tradition. Glassworks was founded in the beginning of the 20th century by Josef Blazek as a small family company.  Its products were soon popular with customers and the glassworks began to grow. Soon these products were known not only in Europe but were successfully exported to the United States.

Historic buildings of Blazek’s glassworks.

Photo left – optimistic 30th years and the first Blazek’s factory.  Picture up – the second factory, built after forced eviction from the border region.

Hana Benesova, the wife of the then Czechoslovak president, visiting Blazek’s glassworks.  And it seems she’s very satisfied with the work of the masters glassmakers.

Unfortunately, the glassworks were in the Czech border region and, after Germany was occupied at the start of World War II, all Czechs were expelled from this area. So Josef Blazek and his family had to close the glassworks, leave their house. The family was forced to move to Central Bohemia, near Prague. But because he was a strong, enterprising man, he opened a new glass factory. Again successful.

The war was over, the whole country, the whole of Europe, the whole world – all began working hard on post-war renewal. It seemed that now the development of the glassworks would no longer stand in the way.

Unfortunately, yes – again, Josef Blazek lost everything he built.

Three years after World War II, the Communist Party took power in Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). All private companies were nationalized, their owners lost everything, many were sentenced to prison or heavy work in uranium mines. What were they guilty of? They were capable and successful entrepreneurs.

Sad ending.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Mr. Josef Blazek and his US business partners

One of many historical business cards

40 years passed and the Velvet Revolution came in 1989. Communist regime has fallen. Josef Blazek’s family stood again in the beginning. Third time in history. They have decided to continue their family tradition and restore their company.

And so you have the opportunity to have at home their amazing, handmade products – crystal drinkware, vases, bowls… and also their specialty – glass nail file, invented and patented by the successor of the founder of the company. But that’s another story…

Even today, you can buy the same bowl as American customers in the 1930s.
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