Onward To Our Past® is proud to present the 5th and final installment of our exclusive English translation of ‘American Czechs and the Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exposition’ from the 1896 edition of Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
Today we finish our tour of the American section of the Exposition held in Prague, Bohemia in 1895 and reported in the 1896 edition of Amerikán Národní Kalendář. We also get to ‘meet’ the Czech noble who spearheaded the Exposition.
Enjoy this, the final installment of this article.
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
“American Czechs and Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exposition”
“The best part of the section was, without any doubt, the residence, witnessed by its exteriors and interiors. How much has changed since the times of Augustin Herman who came to New Amsterdam (today’s New York) in 1633.
The residence had a salon, reading room, kitchen, bathroom, dining room, and upstairs were bedrooms. Wallpapers, carpets, furniture, luxury everywhere witnessed that it is a home of Czechs who, thanks to their hard work, earned a larger property. The rooms upstairs were dedicated to exhibits where you could see pictures of American schools and lodge halls of Czech-Americans, diagrams and histories of support organizations, large maps, a big model of Ems ship, the autograph of Edison, school books, and samples from private libraries.
The “Czech farm” built at the Exhibition in the area near the “Residence” located by the fence, had 2 floors. The first floor consisting of one porch and 3 rooms that served as bedrooms. On the second floor was a salon, kitchen with pantry, and a large living room that was used as exhibit space for farm tools. The farm was accompanied by a log house and a cow-shed. The Log house was built just from logs and had only the basic furniture. Indoors you could see Indians producing various items typical for his tribe, and being sold by a Czech from Michigan who grew up among the Indians. In the cow shed as well as at the depot nearby were shown various American farming machines and other items necessary for the cultivation of the virgin soil.
The American saloon made the same as an American original had a long bar, buffet, and faucet with all the necessary items, including spit-boxes for the Americans’ chewing tobacco. There was sold the wines of Mr. Korbel from California and beer from a Czech brewery in Chicago. Curley “Jean Kudla” served various American cocktails and Mr. Matas from Chicago prepared lunch. In the front of the bar was a row of tables covered by white table linens, where you could sit down as friends of the Americans and listen to their stories about situations in their new homes abroad.
Count Vladimir Lazansky, President of the Executive Committee for the Ethnographic Exposition at Prague, his portrait is shown at page 178 of this calendar, is one of the few nobles who could be considered as truly a Czech noble. There are only a very few of them and although we do believe that our nation can control itself without noble leaders, we can welcome him among us, as each Czech noble who wish to join us, and who proves his patriotism by his work for our people, especially in the work as patriotic and so “suspected” as the Ethnographical Exposition was.
Vladimir Lazansky proved his having all the best characteristics and his work for the Exhibition was very appreciated by the Czech people who welcomed him to the common work. His authority was very often necessary when the Exhibition was in danger and Count Lazansky has always shown his diplomatic talent for negotiating with authorities, which is all too typical of the Czech aristocracy, but he also proved his love of the Czech people for whom he decided to work.”
This brings this translation to an end, but there will be more to come soon! Remember we have 80 years of annual editions of Amerikán Národní Kalendář to pull from!
Onward To Our Past®