The force of water, which was the only source of energy in the 19th century, used to drive many millwheels on the bed of the torrential river Bistrica. The mills ground grain, different cleansing powders, and mineral dyes. On title number 718, where today’s Livarna Titan stands, there was landowner Bučar’s mill producing mineral dyes. He sold his possession together with the mill to Czech engineer Špalek who, in 1896, started cottage industry of metal parts. Getting married to a wealthy bride of Austrian origin enabled him to increase production fairly rapidly:
• heavy and light surface-mounted locks,
• mortised locks,
• and long and short door hinges.
Thus, the year 1896 can be considered the beginning of Titan. Špalek’s bell, the factory bell (restored in 1939), which clanged the workday, remained engraved in the memories of the workers of those days. Best known is Špalek’s quote: “As long as this bell clangs, order will be maintained in this factory.”