Thursday, January 11, 2018

The old FEZCO Factory in Strakonice

The oldest industry in Strakonice, then part of the Ottoman Empire, was the manufacturing of fezzes.
The first fezes were produced in Strakonice in 1805–1807 and became a great export commodity. The export to Turkey was particularly strong until 1925. 
The fez was Turkey's traditional headgear until (founder of the modern Turkish republic) Mustafa Kemal Atatürk banned it in in 1925 as part of his modernizing reforms. The Hat Law of 1925 introduced the use of Western style hats instead of the fez.
The sudden reduction in demand for fezzes made FEZCO turn to berets, one of the most popular hats at the time. 
Eventually FEZCO merged into the nationalized Hückel company TONAK (1948) and berets were made under both the FEZCO and TONAK label. 
These photographs depict the old factories that were once used to manufacture FEZCO berets. 

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