The Swarovski company is now a global multi-national billion making enterprise.  Yet how many people know that the company’s founder, Daniel Swarovski  (born 1862, died 1956) would end up being such an outstanding scientist, humanitarian and visionary entrepreneur?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He grew up in a small village in Bohemia, a small town which is now fairly well known for its outstanding crystal, called Gablonz.  He worked there with his father, hand cutting crystal for the glass and fashion industry.  The Swarovski roots are deeply entangled in the roots of the late 19th century ‘Mittel Europa’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This phrase is the German equivalent to what we think of now as ‘Central Europe’.  The phrase holds political, geographical as well as cultural means.  It was a term coined by the Germans to describe a German dominated central European federation which was one of the aims of the second world war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young Swarovski was fascinated by electricity and its potential applications to Crystal production, the material that he knew and loved so well.  Daniel Swarovski invented the first mechanical method for cutting and polishing crystal stones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1895 at the age of 33 he invented the first mechanical way of cutting and polishing crystal stones intended for jewellery.  At this time he moved his young family and his business to the Austrian Tirol, then a part of Bohemia and a town named Wattens, so not so strange, but primarily to keep the prying eyes of his competitors from sneaking looks at his unique solutions.  Being in the Alps gave Swarovski hydro-electric potential for driving the machines in the factory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With his fantastic new inventions he revolutionised the industry making new and valuable connections with Paris and other major fashion centers.  Swarovski was soon working closely with the best names in couture including Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli both of whom were frequent visitors to Wattens.  These are the young roots which have grown and grown into the giant monolith of excellence, all stemming from one young mans enthusiasm about crystals and his determination to achieve excellence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The connections made from that time continue today.

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