The company was founded in 1894 Zlin by Thomas Bata (Czech pronunciation: whose family had been cobblers for generations. A large order from the army, military shoes and rising demand for them, during World War I started rapid growth and small manufacture turned into modern industrial concern, one of the first mass producers of shoes.
Thomas Bata was recognized for his social consciousness, establishing housing, cinemas and advancement programmed for his employees. The phrase "work collectively, live individually" is one of his sayings. Bata recognized the potential of large-scale production, and was often called the "Henry Ford of
Eastern Europe". He saw technology as a means of progress, and wanted to make the shoes as cheaply as possible so that the greatest number of people could access them
In 1932 Thomas died in a plane crash at the age of 56 at the
(attempting to take off under bad weather conditions) and his half-brother Jan Antonín Baťa became head of the company. Zlín Airport
At the time of Thomas’s death, the Bata Company employed 16,560 people, maintained 1,645 shops and 25 enterprises. Most of what Thomas had built was centralized in Bohemia-Moravia (15,770 employees, 1,500 shops, 25 enterprises) and
(250 employees and 2 enterprises). The total international contribution to the Bata organization at the time of Tomas's death consisted of 20 international enterprises, 132 shops and 790 employees. Slovakia