How it all began
Jawa 1878
František Janeček was born on 23rd January, 1878 in Klaster, a small village in Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic). He studied mechanics in Prague, receiving his degree from the Berlin College of Engineering.
While serving on the Italian front during World War I, he developed a flurry of designs, patenting over 60 inventions - including an improved hand grenade which became standard issue for the Czech Army.
Instead of starting from scratch, he purchased the motorcycle business Wanderer from German manufacturer Winklhofer & Jaenicke, along with the design and tooling for the new Wanderer 500 motorcycle.
Combining the first two letters from "Janiček" and "Wanderer", the first Jawa motorcycle was conceived - the Jawa 500 OHV.

After World War I, the demand for weapons fell, so the skilled workforce and factories of Europe focused their precision manufacturing techniques on the nascent world of motorcycles.
In 1929, Janiček was lured in.
To serve the masses, Janeček knew he needed a lightweight and economical motorcycle.
He recruited G.W. Patchett - a renowned British engineer with prior racing experience - to lead this initiative.
From 1930 until the outbreak of World War II, Patchett served as the chief designer for Jawa.
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