you like a "Sippa"?
was the usual question in the afternoon during the
last hours of the working time.
"Sippa" was a stimulating mixture just like Red Bull
is today 2000. The difference is that today there are
mostly school children who drinks it during free
times. "Sippa" gave new energy while working in the beginning of
1910. It was called Dr. Hjortons powder and
was sold free at the drugstore. It was from the
beginning a drug against the Spanish disease. The
same as pneumonia. Hjorton was a doctor
in Husqvarna. He had mixed this drug. From the
beginning it was used for pain relief. It was
composed with coffein and phenacetin and had a bad
effect on the liver. Now it showed that to much use
destroyed the liver. It was not so easy to prove
this. The doctor at the factory Grimlund
started with this project. He new that most men
working at the factory got this disease. During 2
years he cooperated with the local general hospital
to prove it. By means of asking the workers he got
to know that they used this powder frequently. Now
it could only be bought on doctor's
prescription. It took long time before all workers
were free from liver pains. Today youngsters instead
destroy their intestinal villi with Red Bull and in this way
loose their ability to utilize the nourishment.
In Huskvarna there was a river which drained the
tableland Hakarp to lake Vättern. Her lots of
waterfall were formed. In this fall the land owners
built mills in order to mill their seed. This
building was called house and gave the name
Houseqwarna. In this place there is an old house
foundation which prove that an old castle were once
situated here. Any important production place was
not established until the state built a timber saw
to get material for house building in Jönköping
1599. Husqvarna got town privileges already 1284
from the King Magnus Ladulås. Later after 1599 a so
called Valke mill was started in order to press
clothes for the King's soldiers. At this time
clothes were not knitted.
But how did this industry started.
Husqvarna river, which have had many names through
hundreds years, it started long time before. Already
in 1200 and before this people started to use the
power from the waterfall in order to grind seed.
With the help of large rotating wooden wheels
because of the movement of water one could get
sandstones to rotate against each other. Before this
time this was a work for the farmer's slaves. The
water power was much more effective. This was also
the beginning of slavery disappearing in Sweden.
1200, 1300, 1400 and, 1500th Sweden had only handicraft
production. By industry meant places with serial
production. Mainly this kind arise only when need
for military products. It was just this which forced
the beginning of industries in Sweden.
Further buildings in Humblaruma river.
From 1630 this "Valke" mill was used to produce
gunpowder. During 150 years 6735 kg was produced
during the 30 years war in Germany and King Gustaf
II Adolf. Simultaneous with the gunpowder production
a factory was concentrated to build rifles and
pistols. The military leaders tried to gather all
blacksmiths around in the neighborhood to produce
weapon on the same place, just to make the
production more rational. But it was no use because
the private blacksmiths didn't want to leave their
freedom. In any case all production was sold to
Jönköping factory. The local blacksmiths worked in
their own farm houses and got power from small
waterfall. The water amount was bad here and they
could not work whole year. Name of these waterfall
were "Dunkehalla" and "Dumme river". But this was a
good way of living when they worked as farmers when
it was lack of water. Later Jönköping became an
important place when the army formed a movable
artillery placed here. This became the embryo for
the regiment in our time late 1895 it was named A6.
As writer of this I made my military service here 1960-61.
To produce gunpowder was very dangerous. Continues
the production house exploded. No one knew why. This
question was not solved until in modern time. The
explosions was due to dust electricity. In other
word static electricity.
Huskvarna gunpowder and weapon production.
Karl XI was tired why not anything happened with
production of weapons and gunpowder in Husqvarna. He
forbid the black smiths to produce weapon in their
owns locals. But they did not obey his orders. When
the need from the Swedish army became bigger than
the need for more power was obvious. At this time
the development of new kind of weapons became a
natural cause. This power was to be found in
Husqvarna river. 1689 the King ordered that a new
production unit had to be built in the river. This
was done by the capable
Bengt Larsson Billing. In reality he had for own
money already started production 1681. Why this
happened was that Sweden had promised in the peace
treaty of Altona 1688 to help Holstein Gottorp to be
free from Denmark. But the Danish King refused and
now Sweden was on the way to go to war against
Denmark. All necessary soldiers were gathered and
trained around Jönköping. Weapons were needed.
Average 2000 slow fired-, flint-, dragoon muskets,
150 wheel locking carbines and flint pistils a year
To handle this production the black smiths must
have some place where to live. Of course this was in the
beginning solved temporarily. But in the beginning av 1700 a small village was built for them. The 5
different categories of workers got their need of
power from the river. This was primery power for the
grinding and drilling. For them 3 overshoot water
wheels were built. See picture named "Borrbruket".
Today this river is fully engaged and there is no
water in the old stream. I you wish you can take a
study walk and be impressed by the deep hollows made
by rotating stones.
For myself as an author of
this story I have a distance connection through the
Admiral Siöbladh who from King Carl XI had
commission to raise Husqvarna production. He was
owner of Torpa Stonehouse, near the border to county
of Halland. To this place my grandfathers
Sven Andersson b. 1711 was a day-labourer.
The progress of Husqvarna has during the years 1600
- 1900 been done gradually. Depending of times
sometimes the progress was forward or down in deep
destitution. After the wars of Carl XII the
production was down catastrophic. Sweden didn't need
either gunpowder or weapons. Instead Husqvarna put
interest in producing heating stoves or cooking
stoves. This was not of course not paid like
weapons. This was things which was needed in every
homes. Before all cooking and heating was done by a
main oven. It required much wood. At this bad times
many of all wooden fence disappeared into the black
smith's houses to keep it warm.
Still home made firearms.
workers had no income and despite their own home
work they didn't earn money enough to get daily
food. In this situation the workers were allowed to
lend money just as temporary help. Also at this time
the Swedish state sold Husqvarna to the Ehrenpreus
family. Together with this the new owner
concentrated on new technique by installing a new
hammer to produce part by drop forging. With this
method it became easier and cheaper. The parts
became more or less interchangeable. The worker
didn't left their possibility to control the
production. themselves. All this happened at the
same time with a economic depression. There was no
war in Europe.
The first strike in Sweden 1759
Privatization was in line with leading politic
party. The party named the Hats. A strike broke out
and the workers succeeded to keep together. They even
travelled to Stockholm in order to make complains
about their living circumstances. But they where
sent home again with prison transport. Their
problems engage a lawyer Höppener and he talked in
the house of Lords for their sake. After 2 years the
house voted a money help for the workers in
Husqvarna "a gift of grace" of 25324 riksdaler.
Höppener took half of this sum for his work.
Compare what layers take during 2000 th.
New times up to 1930.
Now it was time for a new owner and this became
Family Tham. Husqvarna now rose slowly from
destitution, producing new product which there were
buyers for. This could be done because of knowledge
in forging and casting. Husqvarna went over to
household products far away in the 1900. Yet the
firearms were still an important part.