In 1826 the Fingerhuts bought the old Prague building U Halánků with a brewery and distillery, which within a matter of years their older son Vojtěch was to make famous literally throughout the whole world.
In 1848, after the overthrow of the revolution in Vienna and Prague, VOJTA NÁPRSTEK (1826 - 1894) sought refuge from police persecution for ten years in the United States of America, where he gained experience and understanding which he tried after his return home to repay with interest to the benefit of Czech society. One of his most important activities was the construction of the private Czech Industrial Museum, which was supposed to help underdeveloped Czech manufacturing. Before long, the museum and library became the centre of the Czech intelligentsia, and, thanks to Náprstek’s contacts amongst Czechs living outside their own country, was celebrated even abroad. Apart from exhibits of things technical, the museum also accumulated ethnographic and artistic artefacts, which Náprstek’s friends and travellers brought from all around the world. After his death the museum became ethnographic, and after 1946 its bearing was orientated purely towards non-European culture.
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