Today in Mailbox we find out the name of the Bohemian-born glass cutter as well as the names of the four lucky winners who will receive Radio Prague goodies for their correct answers. Listeners quoted: Christer Brunström, Vladimir Gudzenko, Hisanobu Ota, Charles Konecny, Ralph Francis, John Cebasek, S. J. Agboola, Don Schumann, Richard Chen, Colin Law, David Eldridge, Ioana Dinu, Jaromír Hauzar, Henrik Klemetz.
Welcome to Mailbox. It’s time once again to reveal the mystery person from last month’s quiz. And let’s do it by quoting from your answers.
Here is what Christer Brunström from Sweden wrote:
“Today I tuned in to your Mailbox programme on 11600 kHz. You asked a question about a Czech glass cutter. The answer is Daniel Swarovski.”
Vladimir Gudzenko follows Mailbox in Russia:
“Daniel Swarovski – a scientist and businessman, who patented an electric cutting machine that facilitates the production of lead crystal glass jewelry.”
Hisanobu Ota from Japan confirms the name is famous the world over:
“He is also famous in Japan, of course. I saw that nice, beautiful glass in Prague while I traveled this summer. Someday I will buy one for my wife...”
Mr Ota was not the only one to mention his wife. Here is what Charles Konecny from Ohio wrote:
“Of course it helped that he grew up in the Bohemian region where glass manufacturing goes back centuries. And who doesn't know the quality of Czech crystal. I took an internet tour of Swarovski crystal and found the prices to be quite reasonable. I didn't ‘add to the cart’ but I told my wife, if she was good, she could order a piece for Christmas. By the way, my wife knows all about Swarovski crystal.”
Ralph Francis writes from New Brunswick, Canada:
“The glass figurines and other products produced by the Swarovski Company can be found in kiosks and stores in many parts of the world. Many years ago my wife, daughter and I took a Čedok bus tour of Austria and we stopped at a small building along the highway to visit a Swarovski store that absolutely glittered with all kinds of highly polished glass figurines. So far, I have not yet bought one.”
One listener who has bought a piece of Swarovski glass is John Cebasek from Ontario, Canada:
“I bought my first piece of Swarovski crystal in 1986 coming home on a British Airways flight as I had a few extra pounds, which I used as an extra gift for my mother for Christmas. Needless to say, she's received and expected a 'little blue box' every Christmas. She's amassed quite a collection!”
Now back from the products to Swarovski – the man. S. J. Agboola writes from Nigeria:
“Swarovski was able to invent and patent a glass-cutting machine and he was a co-founder of an international conglomerate. He was among the few people who had the benefit of old-age in his generation as he died in 1956 at the ripe age of 94!”
Don Schumann lives in Colorado:
“In 1892 he designed and patented a new mechanical electric grinding stone (using water power of the Kamenice river). He later utilized hydroelectric power to accelerate and make glass grinding and polishing more efficient.”
Richard Chen is our listener in Trinidad and Tobago:
“In 1891 he invented a mechanical stonecutter to facet many stones at once and built a new plant in Austria to produce his ‘Tyrolean Cut Stones’.”
Colin Law writes from New Zealand:
“Working as an apprentice in his father’s workshop, Daniel enjoyed experimenting with the cutting of glass stones. At age 30 he took out a patent on his first invention, a machine for precision cutting of crystal jewellery stones. This came after his visit to an Electrical Exhibition in Vienna where he saw machines invented by Thomas Edison and others, which made him realise that glass cutting could be automated.”
David Eldridge listens to Radio Prague in the United Kingdom:
“Daniel had three sons and they all worked together developing the work of the company, improving techniques and introducing new product lines. In 1935 Daniel's eldest son, Wilhelm, produced a prototype of a pair of binoculars, the foundation for an Optik products division of Swarovski.”
Ioana Dinu lives in the Czech Republic:
“The answer to your question is of course Daniel Swarovski, founder of the famous luxury jewel manufacturer. I would have ignored this fact, but living in the Czech Republic for a few months, just south of Jablonec nad Nisou, the area where the glass cutter was born, I have an idea to start a glass bead export business with beads from this region, famous for glassmaking.”
Jaromír Hauzar, who calls himself a Bohemian with a German passport:
“You walk on by through a lot of shopping malls around the globe, while reading that name. And you never stop to learn, even in my very ‘high’ age of 65. Really, I never thought about [Swarovski’s country of origin], I did not have the foggiest idea.”
Henrik Klemetz heard our question in Sweden:
“Workings of the subconscious or a Freudian slip? Who knows why the bestselling author Stieg Larsson would label someone Sarowski in chapter 15 of his cutting edge book ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. At least to me, that surname made me think of this month’s mystery person, Daniel Swarovski.”
Thank you for your answers and for the time devoted to our little quiz. Here are the names of the four listeners who will be rewarded for their correct answers this time. They are: John Cebasek from Canada, Vladimir Gudzenko from Russia, Hisanobu Ota from Japan, and Nazih Mohammed from Morocco. Congratulations to the winners and good luck to all who are going to give it a try this month:
This time we’d like you to tell us the name of the woman who was born in Prague in 1896 and together with two other colleagues won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1947.
You can send your answers either by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, Czech Republic by the end of September. We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks for listening today, until next week bye-bye.