H. & V. Mastný, mechanized weaving mill in Lomnice nad Popelkou
In 1805 Jan Mastný, a townsperson from Jičin, founded a weaving mill to make small quantities of material from cotton by hand in Lomnice nad Popelkou. He expanded the company to include 400 weavers. In 1830 his son, Vincenc Mastný, took over and began to expand the company again and in 1855 built another factory for weaving cotton materials by hand.
The Industrial Revolution also came to us in 1858, along with a mechanized weaving loom, that significantly won out over hand weaving. Vincenc Mastný couldn’t wait and began altering his factory to become a mechanized weaving mill. By 1863 he had more than 400 mechanized weaving looms in his factory.
During the American Civil War, the factory did not produce anything. From 1865 to 1871, work was unstable; in some years, it was full on and in other years only partially.
In 1871 Dr. Antonín Šlechta, Vincenc Mastný’s brother-in-law, took over the factory, installed an additional 150 mechanized looms, and led the company up until his last day on 2. January 1886, when he passed away. Barbora Šlechtová, his widow, took over the factory and led it until 1892.
In 1893 the factory managed to get back into the hands of its founding family, the Mastnýs, when the three youngest sons of founder Jan Mastný, Theodor, Vojtěch, Hugo and a grandson, Jindřich Mastný bought it. Together they expanded the factory by another 300 mechanized looms and another 520 employees.
Vojtěch Mastný, business partner and at the same time, director of the Živnostenská Bank, passed away in 1902 and his son, Dr. Vojtěch Mastný, Esq. took over his position.
Source: PREIS, J. ed. Český průmysl textilní slovem i obrazem. Praha, 1909.