Back in the old days the common way of earning one’s bread and butter in Mšeno was mostly by means of farming. Later the town Shoe makergained its reputation for a fruit-growing capacity, and in particular it became notorious for its massive output of cherries (hops was cropped in plenty for many years as well). Regarding the contemporary production, it is worthy to mention that beet is cropped in plentiful harvests these days. Towards the end of the 18th C, bee-keeping set its tradition in the region, with many a beehive still scattered around the town. Besides agriculture, numerous handicrafts were the bread and butter of the Mšeno’s citizens. These were mainly represented by weaving, tailoring, shoe making, one could even find shearers, hatters, barrel makers, cart-wrights, blacksmiths, carpenters and joiners, locksmiths, butchers and stocking-weavers.

   It is worth of notice that brewing industry held an important position ever since the Middle Ages. However, owing to some unfavorable natural conditions (insufficient water supply, feedstock shortage, and the remoteness of the region), poor road conditions along with the local craftsmen’ unassertiveness, basically no industry boomed here even during capitalism, and the crafts more or less stagnated. Trade gradually overtook manufacture.

   Sad enough, this trend continued even following the birth of the independent Czechoslovakian Republic in 1918. Several mills, a steam sawmill and a few workshops popped up, but this altogether could not be accounted for industrialization. This stagnation, of course, should put partial blame on the Great Depression in the thirties. The town thus began a line of depopulation, with the population counting only some two thousand inhabitants in the twenties.

   No radical change in this trend, neither in the economic profile, has come about so far, not even the 40 year-communist era has cast its ominous shadow onto the economic figures. The significance and extent of agriculture in the region has decreased, and since there has been no increase in job opportunities in the region, the line of depopulation keeps up its trend. All we can do is hope for a turn of events in this trend, due to greater mobility and a potential development in services.

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