The spectacular rainbows, which lit up the sky after rainstorms along with the colored spectrums of light through crystal, must have fascinated Daniel Swarovski from early childhood.

He was born on October 24th in 1862 in Georgenthal, Bohemia, which was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at that time. Bohemia was one of the top manufacturing centers for glass & crystal, and it is where Daniel’s father also owned a small factory/shop cutting crystal for his neighbors, friends, & family.

As a young boy, Daniel loved to watch his father work in his factory and was truly fascinated by the entire manufacturing process of glass & crystal. At the age of 21, he learned enough to complete his apprenticeship with his father and several other crystal cutters, where he had gained valuable knowledge & fine-tune his skills.

Later that year, he left town to go into Vienna who was hosting the Elektrische Ausstellung (1st International Electrical Exhibition). Inspired by new, exciting techniques from Siemans & Thomas Edison (Considered one of the top inventors in the world), Daniel quickly had a brilliant idea to design & build a machine exclusively for precise crystal cutting. In pursuit of realizing his vision by bringing to light his idea, he worked religiously day & night. Finally, after 9 long years (1892), he was ready to register a patent on a machine, which for the very 1st time, made it possible to cut crystal to perfection. It was extremely fast & “clearly” more precise than the manual labor & exhausting work commonly used at the time. A new era in the world of crystal has begun. A new company was then founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski, his brother-in-law, Franz Weis, and good friend Armond Kosmann.

On October 1, 1895, Daniel and his partners found the ideal location for the company in Wattens located in the Austrian Alps. There were sufficient water resources for hydroelectricity, they were far enough away from their competitors around Bohemia and safe from imitation, and finally, there were excellent trade routes to fashion centers, especially Paris, where crystal jewelry stones were in great demand.

Construction soon followed and in 1907, the hydroelectric plant in Wattens went online, thus providing an abundant source of clean energy. In 1908, Daniel Swarovski, whose sons Wilhelm, Friedrich, and Alfred had by now joined their father’s company, began experimenting with crystal production in a workshop specifically constructed for this purpose, next to the family’s villa in Wattens.

After 3 years, they had designed and built their own melting ovens. One year later and countless attempts, they had successfully found the “recipe” for optically flawless crystal, and in 1913, the Swarovski Company began producing its own crystal. This was an important milestone in the history of the company for it took mass production & manufacturing to a new level.

Swarovski’s flawless, brilliantly cut jewelry stones were so successful and caused such great excitement, they were soon coveted everywhere. They sold incredibly well at Europe’s & the Parisian fashion houses and to many jewelers. For this reason, Swarovski concentrated initially on the production of jewelry stones & beads. Soon after, many other products were added.

About this time, World War I was taking place and the Swarovski Company was soon feeling the effects. There was a shortage of both cutting machine parts and raw materials. Always using a crisis as an opening, Daniel used this opportunity to develop his own line of tools for crystal manufacturing. In 1907, after 2 years of research & development, he had managed to produce his own brand of grinding wheels and dressing tools used in the process of cutting crystal. In 1919, they were registered under the brand name of Tyrolit.

By this time, Daniel Swarovski was approaching 60 years old. He was nearing retirement and spent most of his life looking to improve the process of crystal cutting & manufacturing. Soon, his sons were expected to carry out their father’s visions & dreams, the family name, & the company’s legacy.

Just some of their brilliant crystal colors:

The Swarovski Factory in Wattens, Austria (Today)