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* 16. 10. 1868, Velvary, Czech Republic
† 13. 8. 1938, Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic


K. was trained for the profession of bookseller in Slany. After that he was working in Prague for a year and then in 1886 left for Mladá Boleslav, where he became the owner of the book and sporting goods store. K. was an active cyclist and fanatical follower of the sport. In Mladá Boleslav he in 1894 met a machine locksmith Vaclav Laurin (1865-1930). The following year they started a bicycle repair workshop. Their first bike was called the “Slavia”.
The company “Laurin & K.” in Mladá Boleslav developed rapidly and employed 21 workers in 1897. A year later the company moved to new premises and already had 32 employees. The same year K. returned from his study trip to Paris, while the company already started with the construction of the first engines. In 1899 they commercially introduced their own design – a four stroke, one-cylinder engine with a capacity of 239 cm3 and a power of 1.3 kW, belt transmission and electric starting. Commercial success was followed by production of two-and four-cylinder engines, which were exported abroad, including to England. Licenses for the engines were also sold to England and France (1902). The quality of the engines was also evident in the achievements in racing. A variety of racing achievements culminated in the victory of Václav Vondřich in 1905 in the French Durand, at the international racing competition. The production of engines in the company “Laurin & K.” ended in 1912. The first car Voiturreta Typ A left the factory in 1905.
At that time the company employed 355 workers and was turned into a public limited company in 1907. Further sporting success was achieved in 1908 at the St. Petersburg - Moscow, St. Petersburg - Sewastopol race and in the race through the Semmering in Austria. The company also became famous due to Kolowrat Alexander and Otto Hieronimus, the winners of many races. In addition to cars of different power and size, the factory also produced lorries, buses, tractors and tractor ploughs. In 1912, the company “Laurin & K.” merged with Reichenberger motorcar factory and its products were exported to England, Germany, Russia, Japan, Mexico and the British colonies.

With the beginning of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1925, the company merged with Škoda factory in Plzen and in 1927 began to mass produce cars for the Škoda brand. K. worked as the Director General and Laurin as technical director of joint-stock company. Within the VW group a long established company maintained until today.
Later on K. also dealt with the history of motoring in the Czech Republic and together with V. Heinz in 1931 published a book called The history of cars (Aus der Geschichte des Automobils). His assets were allocated to charity and some was intended for the town of Mladá Boleslav.

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Izdelava spletnih strani:  Positiva