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Tradition and history of Steatit s.r.o.

The history of the company dates back to 1835, when the Stadion Seignoreial Office of Kout allowed Mr. Josef Mayer to build a manufactory for the production of cheap and colourful household pottery with approx. 20 employees over the village of Klenčí. The first shops were a potter’s wheel shop, glazing shop, painting shop, clay shop, kiln room and for the firing two horizontal kilns of the Kassel type were build.

In 1865, the manufactory was sold to a new owner, a German, Ludwig Mayer from Ansbach. He introduced significant technological improvements (e.g. casting in moulds) and tried to introduce decorative German patters.

In 1870, the manufactory had 30 employees already, but some intentions did not succeed and the company declined in the period of 1896 - 1912.

The completion of the Domažlice - Poběžovice railway in 1910 opened the way to raw material supply and in 1912 the manufactory was bought and later rebuilt by Jan Milota. World War I hindered the development to some extent but the period of 1922 - 1929 represented the peak period for the factory, when its products were exported to South America, India, Indonesia, to English and Dutch colonies. In Europe, the largest business partners were France and Germany. However, the global crisis affected the development of the factory as well, as it faced decline in 1929. In the strike period of 1932 it only had 70 employees. An attempt to transfer the factory to Domažlice caused such financial losses that the company went bankrupt in 1936.

In 1940, the bankrupted company was bought by the German ROSENTHAL ISOLATOREN G.m.b.H. Company from Selb, which constructed new buildings, bought new machines and an electric kiln for temperatures of 1260 - 1400 °C and started production of insulating and special ceramics for the war industry with 260 employees.

In the post-war period of 1953 - 1958 the factory was incorporated in the "Jizerské porcelánky Potočná" Company (porcelain works), a new small-profile diesel tunnel kiln was built and the annual production volume achieved 163 tons. After restructuring of the ceramic industry the factory become part of the "Závody silnoproudé elektrotechniky - Elektroporcelán Louny" Company (heavy current electrical works - electroporcellain). In 1959, production on automatic presses started, which increased the annual production to 500 tons and therefore it was necessary to build a new material preparation shop (drums, mixers, filter presses) in 1965 - 1966 and at the same time new products were introduced - ceramic elements with heating spirals.

In 1967 - 1968, the plant was subject to comprehensive refurbishment worth about 10 mil. CZK, among other things the tunnel kiln was totally rebuilt from oil to electric heating. Production of porcelain was discontinued and later, in 1974, a new dispersion drier was built with the total value of approx. 4 mil. CZK. In 1980’s the factory became one of the best companies in this branch in Czechoslovakia, when the production volume amounted to 900 tons a year.

Within privatization, on July 1, 1994 the company became an independent private company with the name STEATIT  v.o.s., under the leadership of a group of associates that prepared a strategic development plan with the principal goal - production of products and services with a high quality standard. The company guarantees it with the quality assurance system in accordance with the ISO 9001:2009 standard, which was first certified on October 23, 2003. After a change of the owners in 2008 the company changed its legal form to a limited company and changed the name to STEATIT s.r.o., and started modernization of the production technology (controlled semiautomatic press, gas chamber kilns with a final firing chamber, CNC lathe …) to increase quality and the production volume. (see Certificates)