History of Mikov cutlery production

Beyond any doubt, Mikulášovice is the place where the cutlery
industry found its origins in the Czech lands.
This small border town is situated in the north of the Czech Republic,
in the Šluknovský projection. Mikulášovice was awarded the rights of
a town on 1 February 1916 by Franz Joseph I, the Austrian Emperor.
Already in the 18th century, knife and scissor manufacturers from
Mikulášovice were famous throughout Central and also some parts of
Western Europe. They produced knives of all types and shapes, bowie
knives, swords, sabres, surgical razors and other special tools. At that
time, cutlery manufacturing was a prestigious industry and since
cutlers were scarce, a well prospering one.
In 1794, Ignaz Rösler, a local tradesman, decided to set up the fi rst
cutlery manufacture. At that time, there were a hundred employees;
however, the number had doubled by 1819. The success of this
manufacture motivated others to set up cutlery factories and associated
businesses. Soon, most of the population of Mikulášovice and
surrounding villages were involved in cutlery production. From then
on, Mikulášovice was referred to as the „Czech Solingen". Cutlery in
Mikulášovice enjoyed its greatest boom before and after World War
I. A Cutlery Industry Union was established here, associating 4,500
employees. During World War II, Mikulášovice was part of the Third
Reich. The production was reduced and turned to military purposes. It
was not until 1946 that traditional production was resumed.
In 1948, two national enterprises were established here, i.e. Koh-i-noor
Mikulášovice and Sandrik Mikulášovice. The production of knives was
concentrated in the Sandrik plant, while Koh-i-noor focussed on offi ce
supplies (the well-known KIN brand). In 1955, the two corporations
merged into one - Mikulášovický kovoprumysl (Mikulášovice Metal
Industry), with the MIKOV trade name. The production programme
included particularly cutlery and offi ce supplies.
Thanks to production centralisation and the modernisation of production
methods, the company witnessed rapid growth and increasing
quality of its production. A new method of thermal treatment was applied
according to the Czechoslovak patent MARTFROST - deep freezing
of knife blades after hardening. MIKOV was among the fi rst enterprises
in Czechoslovakia to master precision stainless steel cutting at higher
thickness. Furthermore, some labour-consuming manual operations
(e.g. polishing) were replaced by new automated methods.
The production of knives and offi ce supplies witnessed further expansion
and the company established further plants and branches in other
towns - Benešov nad Ploučnicí, Česká Lípa, Slaný, Most, Lipová.
Products of the MIKOV and KIN brands were successfully exported to
120 countries and territories worldwide, through the foreign trade
corporations Merkuria and Pragoexport.
From 1989 to 1994, plants located in other towns gradually disaffi liated.
Mikulášovice retained its major production programme for the
manufacture of knives MIKOV and offi ce supplies KIN.
In 2005, Mikov purchased the ADLER MESSER knife manufacturing
technology from Adler Messer GmbH, including the rights to use the
ADLER MESSER logo and the website, and
continues – without any interruption – in the manufacturing of the
entire product range of these knives, which are popular particularly
in Germany.
Contemporary company Mikov s.r.o. ties in with the long tradition of
manufacturing of high quality knives and offi ce products.
The wide range of products is traded not only at the home market, but
also in whole Europe and overseas.
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