SOL - World of Wenzel Thöner  

SOL company, Wenzel Thõner

 Link:
 Triplex SOL and Wenzel Thöner Gallery

  I am fascinated by the SOL company. When I learnt that Mr Thöner lived in my home town - Dìèín,
I decided to try to map their history. Now besides their fishing equipment I am investigating old
photos and other documents.

SOL company history (1903 - May 1945)

  Wenzel Thöner, a Sudetenland German, was born on May 5 1877 in Markvartice near Ceska Kamenice.
He soon followed his father and started production of fishing equipment. In November 1903 he founded
company called Wenzel Thöner - metal goods and fishing equipment production "SOL" in Decin, Czech
Republic today. Besides fishing equipment the company produced also dentist equipment, ski sticks and
Cassablanka knitting-needles for knitting machines.

  Successful development of the company was influenced by World War I. After the war had been finished,
the company got on with its production to experience its greatest success after 1924. It was already the
era of the Czechoslovak republic. In this era the company employed several tens of people. The assort
ment was very wide - from splitcane bamboo rods, reels, lures, flies up to floats or hooks. The 1937
catalogue contains over 600 items. The most famous SOL products are TRIPLEX reels. SOL exported
the goods into the whole continental Europe and also to England, Russia, the USA and Africa. The comp
any was well-known for its support of fishing competitions. These were used to promoting the quality of
SOL products. Thus it is not surprising that one of the successful competitors was the son of Mr. Thöner,
Wilhelm. Wilhelm Thöner (1905 - December 26, 1962) the designer and SOL production manager, was
also the winner and the record-holder of many fishing technique competitions. Wilhelm worked in SOL
factory from 1925.

  In 1938 the Munich Agreement joined a part of Bohemia to Germany. Wenzel Thöner and his company
became a part of Nazi Germany. SOL continued its fishing production and had to start also war production
for German army.

SOL company history (the end of WW2 - 1962)

  After the Second War the factory was given under the national control and Wenzel Thöner's family was
displaced to Germany. The director of a competing company Rousek - ing.Frantisek Tichy was appointed
to carry out the national control temporarily from 18 June 1945. The company administrators were often
changed but SOL carried on its successful fishing production. By the end of 1945 SOL was almost free
of competitors - its biggest rival Rousek could not produce due to lack of material supplies. One of the
company's advantages was a big material supply - especially bamboo for rods. The company moved to
a new place, the plant was extended and still exported its products.

  This flourishing time did not take long. In the end of 1948 a competing company - Rousek Fishing Sport
(later TOKOZ) - took over the production and the factory in Decin was closed. The company founder did
not experience this bitter end. Wenzel Thöner died in 1947 in Stralsund, Germany.

  However, the SOL trademark was still alive. Wilhelm Thöner, the son, supported by the German state
and banks continued the family tradition of fishing equipment production in Bavaria from 1947. His new
company was called TRIPLEX - fishing equipment SOL, W. THÖNER and was settled in Munich, Rossen
heimer Strasse 34. The company got into financial troubles and its activities were finished in 1956.
Unfortunately, six years later he paid for his obsession. In year 1962 on the Lech river during his beloved
winter fishing for huchos thin ice broke under him and he drowned. The SOL history was finished by his
death.