The Merkur marvel celebrated 100 years!
The beginnings of the Merkur brand date back to 1920, when Mr. Jaroslav Vancl founded the Inventor company in the town Police nad Metují, Czechoslovakia. The first original metal building kit was patented under the name Inventor. Originally, the metal parts of this kit were connected to each other with metal hooks. In 1925, the manufacturer came up with a new system, which has remained unchanged to this day. The metal parts of the kit have since been connected with screws and nuts. With this step, the kit came very close to real constructing and thus enabled greater opportunities for play and creative work of children. With the transition to the new system, a new trademark was registered for the kit - Merkur.
At the turn of the 1930s and 1940s, a number of kits grew. The boom of MERKUR kits began. Surge of development continued until the beginning of World War II. After the Second World War, the factory was nationalized. After the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, MERKUR was practically doomed however things took a positive turn recently when Merkur gained a new owner and comes to life again.
The history of producing construction kits in the town of Police nad Metují dates from 1920. A celebration was held to mark the centennial anniversary on Saturday 29 August 2020 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm in front of the Merkur Museum in Police n. Metují.
On this occasion, the most famous Czech construction kits were presented in special retro packaging that celebrated the company’s 100-year tradition and its founding by Jaroslav Vancl.
Admission to the Merkur Museum on that day was FREE to all visitors. Among other attractions, the museum proudly presented the largest ever model built from Merkur – as entered in the Guinness Book of Records. It is a model of a steel city, based on ‘Stahlstadt’ dreamt up by Jules Verne in his novel The Begum’s Fortunes. (https://www.muzeummerkur.cz).
All visitors to the museum could join in the attempt to set a new first in the Guinness Book of Records by building the longest snake, bolted together from metal pieces of the Merkur construction set. In the course of eight hours was created a 272.665 metre long snake from 2,821 Merkur parts. Using miniature nuts and bolts, participants connected together individual strips of perforated metal. The Merkur snake coiled down from the second floor of the Merkur Museum, along corridors, down stairs and out into the park next door.
Throughout the day, children and adults could enjoy a fun-packed programme of workshops and competitions, as well as tuck into plenty of refreshments in the area surrounding the museum.
MerkurToys s.r.o. put on the event to familiarise the general public not only with the company’s rich tradition, but also with what Merkur – the most famous Czech construction kit manufacturer – is doing today.
“The philosopher Confucius once declared ‘What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand,’” said MerkurToys CEO Jaromír Kříž, thanks to whom Merkur continues to live on in our hearts.