In this hometown of a welfare corporation that would spread its wings across the world, a museum is the only remnant of a shoemaking empire
At the eastern edge of the Czech Republic, there is a small town called Zlín. Once upon a time, less than a century ago, this town hosted a revolution in manufacturing and retail that would go on to dramatically affect Czech and Czechoslovak nationalism, art and architecture, and make its way to the Netherlands, England, Canada, India, even the pages of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. The man who sparked off this revolution was a shoemaker from Zlín. His name was Tomáš Bata.