In our previous post, we took a look at the origins of the history of Czech glass beads in beaded jewelry; now let's find out about bead-making families and the effects of the two World Wars on the Czech bead industry.
Even though mass production allowed Czech glass beads to be exported around the world, it was still families in villages making beads rather than factories. Families would buy glass molds and the necessary machinery, then produce the beads in their own small homes, which were equipped with tall chimneys and large roof vents - a telltale sign of a bead-making family.
Czech glass beads are considered to be some of the finest in the world. The history of Czech glass beads for use in beaded jewelry takes a few twists and turns, but Bohemian glassmaking is actually centuries old, going back earlier than 400 AD.
North Bohemia, a region in the current Czech Republic, has been the hub of European glassmaking since the 1200s - this is why you sometimes hear Czech glass beads referred to as Bohemian glass beads. Most of the items produced were for rosaries and household use, but this was soon to change.