KesterTester93 - This location, somewhere in the CEE region, is possibly more famous for its two other main attractions, although this factory visit was a highlight for me. [Updated with additional clue and WINNER.]
Photo: I'm not sure if the lady is the most skilled member of the team, or if she's just 'finishing off' the job - or perhaps something in between. Maybe I'll send it to the factory to find out. Though you might not guess it, this piccie was snapped in December eight years ago.
We missed a tester last week, and in truth I had another one (a real toughie) in mind for today, but I happened upon a set of images containing this piccie, and I thought, why not?
Though the factory equipment looks quite modern, this is a traditional industry in this part of the world, with a history going a long way back.
I'm not sure if I can offer more clues without making it too easy, but just let's say this location's other two main attractions involve liquids, one of which, traditionally, should be ice-cold when 'employed'.
That should be enough for now - if sleuthing this proves too difficult, I'll try to add another clue towards the end of next week. But if you think you can nail it, please write in via the site messaging system or email, mentioning KT93 (it helps me to avoid losing entries).
Remember, the lucky winner gains global celebrity status and the right to buy me two beers! TV rights pending. Happy Sleuthing!
UPDATE: Another clue!
It is excruciatingly difficult to offer another clue for fear of making this all too easy. This is especially true becuase I have received a couple of correct answers (well, more or less correct), and it seems unfair to those talented sleuths to make it easy for the rest.
So, after consulting with the Competition Committee and examining the complex European Union competition legislation, I'll award any correct entry received after posting this extra clue one number in the EU-approved, black woolly hat, and those received prior to this will have two numbers (and therefore twice the chance of winning versus the newcomer sleuths).
So here's the clue (and much good may it do you): Apparently there was - and is - one rather fancy, grand hotel up in the hills overlooking the town. This paid host to Hollywood stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks when at the height of their careers in the 1920s (although it's not clear if they were working or just on a European jaunt at the time - I suspect the latter as I can find no mention of any film being shot on location).
There! It might not seem much, but I think it's a fair additional clue in the cicumstances - we can't market KesterTesters as some low-brow, proletarian, google-based guessing game - standards must be maintained! Happy Sleuthing!
UPDATE: Entries, the answer and the Winner! This one proved quite a toughie, although a couple of folk latched on from near the beginning. Jana Strgar wondered if it might be from her homeland: “Kester dober dan, Might this be Steklarna Rogaška, [Slovenia]? However, I have never been there, so I am not really sure.” Really? Shame on you, Jana! “In Rogaška Slatina they have Donat mineral water, if that's what you meant by liquid? Lep vikend, Jana” Well, it might be - some things fit, for sure, Jana. We'll have to see. From sunny Leicester, Les Szabo was short and to the point: “Hi glass blowing... no idea where.” You can't win with that, Les! And I'm not even sure that this glass is blown. This one even had Hubert “Poirot” Warsmann struggling. “KT 93. Not an easy one, very few clues in that picture. I will venture the glassworks in Poděbrady, Czech Republic, until more clues come up.” Tom Chilton was also thrashing around somewhat. “HI Kétszer, I reckon it's Bohemia. Bohemia is famous for beer and sort of famous for Becherovka (which is served ice-cold). I can't guess the precise location of the glassworks though.” Away in the Baltics, Priit Pallum also thought Becherovka might have a role to play in all this. “Dear Kester, If you have been sipping Becherovka from a crystal (Bohemian) glass sitting in a warm bath this must have happened in Karlovy Vary. "other two main attractions involve liquids“ – the piccie proves that glass too has to be liquid, if you want to shape that into anything useful. Add Czech beer, is that a gimmie in KV? Best regards - Priit” Regular punter David McCall didn't seem over pleased by my clues (sorry David), and focused on Hungary. “Dear Kester, Saying that you took this pic 8 years ago doesn't help a lot for someone who left 11 years ago, but I'll have a go at it. There used to be quite a few glass factories in Hungary, but I think that those in Sajoszentpeter, Oroshaza, Paradsasvar, Ajka, Karcag, Tokod, Salgotarjan, etc. There were also quite a few in Slovakia. I think most of them have closed, but which one was still operational eight years ago? Paradsasvar has a history with Hollywood, including making items that were used in episodes of Columbo and Dallas. I don't know who stayed there, but there is a nice castle that now operates as a hotel.
Google tells me that although the "uveggyar" there closed in 2005, there is now a "uvegmanufaktura" operating there, so I am going to guess you may have been there to see the new operations.
Hence, I'm going to go with Paradsasvar.”
Meanwhile, Hungarian Imre Kőrizs also had his eye on Czechia.
The job doesn't seem too hard, she must be a glassblower. May the location be Karlovy Vary? Ciao, Imre”
After this limited response, I felt behoven to have mercy, and add the clue about Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, though this revelation too, had limited impact.
Les Szabo thought it had “Something to do with power generation/insulation.”
I agree it does look a bit like an electrical insulator, Les – but I think this particular glass works goes for high-value than high-voltage, I'm afraid.
Hubert “Poirot” Warsmann was quickly into action:
“Ah, from that clue, the most likely hotel to foot the bill is the Imperial in Karlovy Vary. If so the glass factory is likely Moser. Given the prices of Moser artifacts and the size of the one on the picture, the lady has a small fortune on the end of that stick!”
Tom Chilton was also on the prowl:
“So, I was right about Bohemia - two numbers in the wooly cap please!”
Tut! Tut! Bohemia's a big place, Mr Chils! Only one number for you, I'm afraid, and count yourself lucky!
“A bit of low-brow, proletarian, google-based guessing led me to the precise location - the Moser glassworks in Karlovy Vary.
Come to think of it, guessing Becherovka should have led me there, as it comes from Karlovy Vary, but I didn't think to look for a glassworks there.”
Should! It's all about thinking, Tom, I'm afraid. But there again, you are getting on in life.
I wrote to the Moser Glassworks museum about the lady and her job, and soon got this nice reply from Anna Dufkova.
The woman in the picture is an unofficial part of the team of the glassworkers. Every team has at least two of these helpers (often women) and their role is to basically assist the workers. They are, for example, in charge of the wooden molds used for shaping the glass (cooling them down, soaking them in water, etc) they are taking the finished products to cool down.
They are basically doing the work around and helping the team so everything goes smoothly. Without these women, the helpers, the work would be very complicated and would take a long time.
I hope this answered your question.
We wish you the best in 2023 and hope to see you again in Moser glassworks Karlovy Vary! Best regards Anna Dufková Návštěvnické centrum / Visitors Center Thank you, Anna!
So, all we have to do now is draw the lucky winner – with a bias to Priit (numbers 1 and 5) and Imre (numbers 2 and 6), who are obviously more likely to be the ones to face fan hysteria and gain the honour of buying me two beers. And yet - the Winner of KT93 is, despite the statistical disadvantage … number 4 – Tom Chilton. It is, indeed, the Moser Glassworks in Karlovy Vary, a town which according to Wikipedia, is the largest concentration of hot springs in Europe. So yes, the two liquids in the clue were (spa) water and Becherovka. It was December when I was there, so I didn't really appreciate the beautifully lush green of the surroundings on the tourism website pages. I don't know now where I found the bit about the stay of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. I suspect it was when they were travelling to or from the Soviet Union (they did some sort of film over there in the 30s). Russian seems to be the second language on all the menus at restaurants in town these days, by the way. Congratulations to Tom and all who “had a go” to make it more fun. And yes, Hubert, those Moser glass pieces are really rather valuable – don't think I'll ever have one on my kitchen table in this lifetime! OK – Shall I put out another clue for KT94? It's still open for entries! Happy Sleuthing!