The history of the company
The history the factory starts in 1913, when the former owner Peter Vichr was searching for a suitable spot to build new production premises because the former headquarter at Duchcov didn´t allow further expansions. Thanks to acces on the railway network and its proximity of the capital Prague, Lysa nad Labem seemed the most feasable solution.
At the start of 1914, the installation of energetical device and mechanical equipements started. In the middle of these works, the World war broke out. Though works were interrupted, by the end of 1914, the factory started running. Production was initiated with small devices for households such as – shovels, coat-racks, covers, but metal furniture as well. Later on the production program was switched to the needs of war and large amounts of hospital beds were produced. After the war the factories production was focussed back on the initial production. Soon products of added value were introduced – chromed furniture, household furniture with wooden accessories, painted hospital and school furniture, scales, and later on also office furniture.
In 1938 the establishment was renamed with retrospective force from 1935 to a joint-stock company. All the shares though stayed in the hands of the original owners. At that time the enterprise with its factories in Lysa nad Labem and Duchcov, belonged amongst the largest of its kind, employing between 700 and 800 employees. In 1939 the central office from Prague was moved to Lysa na Labem where the management headquarter was settled. During the second world war, again production was oriented on wars´ necesities. In Lysa nad Labem, a coin production of the protectorate was established. In May 1945, as in most larger factories, national administration was implemented till 1946, when the company was nationalized and renamed to „KOVONA National enterprise“, Under the second phase of nationalization and industrial reorganizations carried out in this period, changes were made in order to develop the production of metal furniture and related products in one single enterprise. The company included former factories of Vichr and Co., joint-stock company Kovona in Lysa n.L., the Mück-Melder factories of metal furniture in Frystat. During 1948, several important companies active in a domain of metal furniture and porduction of related products were incorporated in Kovona´s entreprise: 03 Hynek Gottwald factory in Brandys nad Orlici, 04 Frantisk Jergl Brno, 05 Robert Slezak Bystrice pod Hostynem, 06 Trezoria Praha -Jinonice, 07 SAB Praha VI, 09 Robert Slezak Vysoka n.Kysucou. This way, practicly production os metal furniture was concentrated in a single productional organisation unit. Further the company was fused with National company Radovan in Melnik and its affiliate factories producing and repairing toy vehicles. In 1950, the organizational structure of the company changes. The company is divided into smaller units, as a successor the newly established National enterprise Kovona, Lysa nad Labem is appointed, which took over all the assets and liabilities of individual plants as well as the obligation to handle tasks from the corporate headquarters in Prague. Division of metal furniture productions was set followingly: 1. Kovona National company at Lysá n.L. with affiliate factories: 03 Brandys n.O., Brno, 06 Jinonice, 07 Praha VII, 08 Hostivar. 2. Kovona National Company in Karvina with affiliate factories: 05 Bystrice p.H., 09 Vysoka n.Kys. 3. Liberta National company in Melnik with affiliate factories 14 Trebic, 24 Vojkovice, 15 Hermanuv Mestec, 11 Litomysl, 16 Pocatky, 33 Malacky. 4. Factories of toy vehicles National Company in Duchcov with affiliate factoriesy 16 Plzen, 19 Kasperske hory, 25 Varnsdorf.
In 1950, the activities of the managing headquartes were again transfered to Lysa n. Labem and the confiscated company F.Adam a factory of gymnastics equipement in Prague-Kunratice was incorporated. In the following year a transfer was made from the former factory Vacek, later Agrostroj, to a second premises. These transfers allowed to create more production spaces at Lysa nad Labem so the production activities of the affiliated factories in Jinonice,Hostivar and Prague VII could be moved to Lysa nad Labem as well.
During the period of 1956 till 1960 the following changes were finalised by the orginasation: Kovona National company and its managment headquarters in Lysa nad Labem as a 1.division, second Bystrice pod Hostynem with factories in Lichnov and 3rd the factory at Zabreh na Morave. In the organisational structures the business of Stribro was cancelled and a new one founded at Ricany near Prague. In this production-organizational arrangement the national enterprise was changed to a state enterprise and it went throuh a privatization process. In 1991 by decision of the Ministry of industry, the state enterprise was aborted and without liquidation all assets, rights and commitments were issued to the new founded KOVONA LBZ joint-stock company at Lysa n.Labem.
By the end of 1991 a privatization project was worked out by the management, which after consulting with the Czech Ministry of Labour was submitted for approval at the Ministry of State Property Management and Privatization in the Czech Republic. The project was approved in March 1992 and a decision was published. Subject to restitution, properties were settled followingly, assets of KOVONAX sro at Bystrice p.Hostynem and Zabreh but also MKR Plus sro at Krnov were sold. Based on the decision, the administrative organs of the joint-stock company were changed. The members of the former directorship and supervisory board resigned and according to the contents of the collective memorandum of National Property Fund, the delegation of the Investment funds and the company agreed by order contract that over 70% of KOVONA´s assets will be owned by the funds.