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No until the Velvet Revolution in 1989 were there any new opportunities for private enterprise. The Ministry of Industry of the Czechoslovak Republic established one big national company called CSHN (Ceskoslovenske Hudebni Nastroje, meaning Czechoslovak Musical Instruments) and set a production plan: so many acoustic guitars from this factory, so many electric guitars from that factory, and so on.As we will see, Jolana wasn't the only Czech guitar brand.Under this centralization, the identities of the original companies became blurred into one faceless mass, and the lack of surviving records only adds to the confusion.That is why some Jolana guitars are marked "Krnov" and others "Horovice", for example, and that is why it is so difficult to reconstruct the history timeline today. the Grazioso (original ad from Melody Maker magazine c. We do know exactly how the first Czech electric guitar came about.Technically, there was no such thing as the Jolana or Resonet guitar companies.The names were only labels used on certain guitars by one big mother company, regardless of where they were actually built.
The company was called DOBRO for DOpyera BROthers, but the word also means "good" in the Slovak language.When I wrote my original article about Eastern European guitars [Guitars of the Cold War, Vintage Guitar Magazine, January 2002], I was still in the process of researching the roots of these instruments.In the first two installments, I had focused on Russia almost exclusively, though I did mention Jolana guitars briefly.The year was 1953, the city was Blatna, and the company was the Drevokov Cooperative."Drevokov" means something like "Woodcraft" ("drevo" is "wood" in Czech) and the Drevokov Cooperative was a nationalized furniture company which specialized in producing wall paneling and other wood products.
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Dobro was eventually purchased by National, which in turn became part of the Valco company, which went bust in 1968, but that's a separate story.