Ottokar Skrivan, Prague
The company Ottokar (Otakar) Skrivan, was registered on 24 March 1870 as a manufacturer of "wooden tools" in Karolinenthal No. 211 in the Commercial Register Prague. Before that, Skrivan was involved in a trading company for guttapercha and rubber goods, which was dissolved in October 1870 after only one year.
Ottokar Skrivan's father Anton was the founder and owner of a commercial school in Prague and the author of several commercial textbooks. In 1860 he was also one of the experts a sensational fraud trial against the director of the Vienna Creditanstalt, Franz Richter.
In 1872 Skrivan took part in the Prague Industrial Exhibition. In 1874, the first advertisements appeared in newspapers. they refer to awards at exhibitions in Linz, Salzburg, Paris, Prague and Moscow. Another list of awards, printed in a prize courant in 1906 (page 30), also mentions these awards. The dates given (Linz and Salzburg 1865, Paris 1867, i.e. before the company was founded) strongly indicate that they did not go directly to Ottokar Skrivan.
The awards in those years went to Johann Horak. That is why I assume that Skrivan took over Horak's business in 1870 either from Horak himself or his heir. The identical location, namely Karolinenthal, also speaks in favour of this theory.
However, I have not yet found any other evidence to support this assumption.
At the end of 1874 Ottokar Skrivan searches for a steam-powered glue apparatus by an ad, and in 1876 also by an ad cherry beams.
Around 1875 Ottokar Skrivan founded a factory for parquet floors together with one of his brothers.
The first corresponding newspaper advertisements appeared in 1877.
The next advertisement will be published in April 1878. Skrivan advertises lathes for turners and mechanics as well as stock presses for bookbinders and bookprinters.
At the exhibition of the "German Polytechnic Association" in Prague in1879, the parquet floors of the Skrivan brothers are praised.
In 1882, the first advertisements for Skrivan's patent moulding plane appeared. You can find out more about this plane here.
In May 1883, the factory in Prague narrowly escaped disaster when sawdust caught fire by flying sparks. However, the fire was quickly extinguished.
In the summer of the same year Ottokar Skrivan is looking for carpenters for his parquet factory in Krippen an der Elbe (Kingdom of Saxony). I do not yet know when exactly this factory was founded in Saxony.
Ottokar Skrivan was re-elected to the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting of the first Bohemian mutual fire and hail damage insurance company in May 1885.
Ottokar's father Anton Skrivan died in 1887.
In May of the same year, Skrivan and the mechanic Franz Dworak received a patent on the production of "guardian clocks" (control clocks for night watchmen).
The Bohemian Horticultural Society mentions in its association news, printed in the Prager Tagblatt in May 1890, that Mr. Ottokar Skrivan was elected auditor of the invoice.
Three advertisements in 1892 tell of newly developed drawing boards, also called "Auturgem", which are produced by Skrivan in Prague and also in Krippen. What is new is above all the clamping mechanism of these boards, which does not require aids such as clamping strips or the like.
In 1894 Ottokar Skrivan proved that he was one of the more progressive industrialists of his time: together with Robert Mattern, he developed a smoke-free coal combustion system for steam engines and heating systems, which was subjected to a very detailed test on 11 July 1894 at his own plant in Prague by the "Technical Inspectorate of the Steam Machine Investigation and Insurance Company Prague", which was reported in detail in the Bohemian Brewery Newspaper. In 1895, Skrivan and Mattern were granted a patent for this system. In 1896, the two also took over a similar patent from mechanical engineer Mathias Javurek for economic exploitation. It can be further inferred from the relatet announcement that the general representation (and probably also the production) of these systems was transferred to the Viennese company Kurz, Rietschel & Henneberg.
In 1899, liberal German and Czech industrialists, including Ottokar Skrivan, jointly issued an appeal to the members of the Imperial Council of the Kingdom of Bohemia, calling for an "end to the unfruitful national dispute". It goes on to say: "The consequences of the prevailing sad national conditions not only threaten the existence of the individual, but also the flourishing and prosperity of the country and of the whole monarchy is threatened." As we know today, they should be right: Nationalism in Europe led directly into the First World War, and the Austrian monarchy went down.
In 1909, Skrivan donated a work bench with woodworking tools to the "Association for the Benefit of Epileptics" in Prague.
Also in 1909, an article on the "First Bohemian Mutual Fire and Hail Damage Insurance Institute" in Prague, in which Ottokar Skrivan is still a member of the Board of Directors, was published in the Österreichische Illustrierte Zeitung on the occasion of the completion of the new administrative building.
The name Ottokar Skrivan appears on December 17, 1915 in the alphabetical list of the loss lists of world war I. I haven't been able to find out if this is the factory owner. In any case is not his son, because Ottokar Skrivan Jr. joined the management of the company on 14 October 1916.
In 1923 Ottokar Skrivan (jun.?) was re-elected to the Board of Directors of the Mutual Insurance.
With this entry this article ends unfortunately, I haven't found out more about the history of ottokar Skrivan.