Company history

First foundations of industrial plants on the riverside of Berounka were established in 1824 by nobleman Karl Egon II Fürstenberg. The prince founded a smelter called Marie-Anna in Roztoky, which was initially used for pig iron refinement and later as a rolling mill for puddle bars. The production was linked to other Fürstenberg's smelters in the region. At the time, Fürstenberg's metallurgic complex was one of the most advanced in central Europe and many of its products are valued by historians to this day.

However, new inventions in the technology of metallurgic processes that spread mostly from England crippled Furstenberg's iron works. He was forced to shut down many workshops in the region and in 1880 the iron works in Roztoky followed. To avoid bankruptcy, Furstenberg sold the iron works to the Bohemian metallurgic society. The society focused on rolling wrought iron and employed over 300 workers at the turn of the 20th century. Despite partial advancements in technology, the new owner could not keep the production running and the plant was shut down in 1903. Soon after, Furstenberg came up with a daring plan to recover the iron works and turn it into a brewery. He was unable to gather sufficient funds however, and the plan fell through. In 1905 Stein company from Semily bought the entire property.

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The new owner began adjusting the plant for textile production. The first spinning mill started operating in 1907 and a year later dyeworks was added. In 1908, the plant employed over 700 workers and production was doubled with the introduction of two-shift production. In order to lower electricity consumption, a sophisticated hydro power-station with a single turbine and a steam engine was constructed. Constant water flow was secured with an ingenious system of water accumulation at the river weir with a lead to keep the entire production running. Production started to decline during the First World War due to lack of raw materials and manpower - most men were replaced by female workers. When the war was over, shifts were cut down from 11 to 8 hours.

In 1929-1933, Czech economy was hit by the Great Depression but the next five years were the golden era for Stein's company. This was ended abruptly with the German Nazi confiscating the plant as Jewish property. The Stein family never returned to Roztoky.

Ing. Havlicek became the next supervisor of the plant but he could not keep the textile production running because of lack of key materials like raw cotton. After the Nazi invasion to Russia, flax from Belarus and hemp were used to substitute cotton.

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In spring 1944, as the Greater German Reich's industry began falling apart, a German company named Filter und Mann took over the plant to support the German war production. A complete assembly line for Focke-Wulf airplane gasoline tanks was transported from Germany. In June 1944, over 500 prisoners held in a work camp in Roztoky worked under technical supervision of Ing. Goebel and sales manager Schärf.

Near the end of 1944, a company called Junkers claimed the larger textile plant and established three production lines for Messerschmidt 109 propeller heads . Over thousand people worked in the three-shift production. Both war projects were officially conducted under the cover name Farberei (Dyeworks), but their true nature was soon recognized by the Allied Forces. On September 21st, 1944, an allied air force payed the area a visit. The planes were probably taking photographs of the plants during low flyovers. No attack was ever launched on either of the sites, however. On December 16th of the same year, two small bombs were dropped in surroundings of Krivoklat and Roztoky. Considering the explosives were dropped over vacant areas, the pilots were most certainly merely getting rid of excess load.

After the end of the World War II in 1945, opinions differed on what type of industry should be established in the region. The textile plant that operated by Berounka's riverside for 36 years was never re-established. The engineering industry lobby won the fight and has been operating here to this day under various names.

The plant first started producing pneumatic tools (grinders, hammers, pumps) in 1953. In 1980, the independent national company, Permon, was established. After the Velvet Revolution, the business was privatized and Permon s.r.o was established in 1994 by ing. Koudelka. In 2013, the company was sold to KASEY Investment Holding SE which continues developing the production of original Permon pneumatic and hydraulic tools that are used worldwide to this day.


Horní závod Permon II současnost