History of CZ – the begginings [1919]

The history of CZ goes back to its mother company Česká zbrojovka Strakonice (which stands for Czech armory Strakonice).

Czechoslovakia found its way to indendependence in 1918 and in 1919 new Czech armory company was based by a guy named Karel Bubla. The company’s name was Jihočeská zbrojovka (South-Czech armory).

They started their first production in an old mill in a city of Plzeň (Pilsen), but as the company grew, they built new and modern factory in 1921 in the city of Strakonice and started their operations in bigger. The company run very well and in 1922 it turned itself into larger shareholder-type company and changed it name to Česká zbrojovka v Praze (Czech armory in Prague) and late registred its trademark ČZ.

"Czech armory, joint-stock company in Prague, factory Strakonice"
“Czech armory, joint-stock company in Prague, factory Strakonice”

The founder of Česká zbrojovka, mr Karel Bubla was Czech architect from a town Strakonice. He gradually owned more business but he mainly focused on his construction company that he started early after finishing his studies in Vienna. In 1919, shortly after new independence of Czechoslovakia, already as a wealthy businessmen he started an amory company Jihočeská zbrojovka. From construction business to armory business, that is quite a shift. However, the story that is behind that is that mr Bubla worked during his studies in Vienna in an armory company and had a big passion for weapons since then.

It was most probably also back here where he met his main designer mr Alois Tomiška, who also worked in an amory in Vienna since 1890s. Mr Tomiška was later a well known designed who in 1909 as the first one developed and patented double action pistol named “Little Tom”. This gun was however only with single stack magazine. (By the way – do you know what was the first double action pistol with double stack magazine? It was CZ 75 few decades later)

Mr Tomiška started Vienna weapons factory in 1909 but sold all the patents to Vienna Arms Factory in 1919 and in the same year moved to Pilsen to join the company Jihočeská zbrojovka of mr Bubla as the main designer.

The company started as a armory company specializing in pistols, rifles and machine guns for a many armies. Later in the 1920s they started to produce also bicycles for army and in 1930s they started motorcycle production. The first motorcycle was named ČZ 76. When CZ finished the new factory in Uherský Brod (CZ → CZUB), the original CZ factory in Strakonice moved their aim more into production of motorcycles and automobiles. In the meantime, history of CZ as a gun manufacturer further continued in CZ Uhersky Brod (CZUB).