Heljestrand, C. V.

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Name Heljestrand, C. V.
Location Eskilstuna, Sweden
Dates of Operation 1845
External Links http://smpkir.com/index.php/history
Owners Carl Victor Heljestrand

The name Heljestrand is one of the best known in the surgical instruments industrial history in Sweden and international. As early as 1804 Olof Heljestrand was already working as a master-engraver and in 1808 he opened a small workshop which, owing to the demand for finely cast steelware, grew rapidly. In 1822 there was already a considerable production of razors, scissors and surgical instruments produced in his factory. At this period Heljestrand already had thirty-two workers; the rapid expansion of the factory was, however, considered a disturbing factor by the local authorities who denied his request to be allowed to hire further space in the so called grinding house.

In 1825 the king, Carl XIV Johan, awarded Johan Olof Heljestrand the sum of 3 000 riksdaler and later a further 2 000 riksdaler for an invention for the manufacture of cast steel. The Iron Master’s Society and the Swedish Board of commerce decided this invention to be of such great importance that it should be available for the whole of the Swedish iron industry. Thus no patent was issued and instead Heljestrand received the previously mentioned monetary reward. Two of Heljestrand’s sons were recognised by the Swedish government. One of them, Carl Victor, was awarded a scholarship for studies abroad and travelled to England, where the well known steel magnate Mr. Vicker in person met him in his own private locomotive and took him to the steel mill at Sheffield.

C.V. Heljestrand opened his own forging shop at Sheffield in 1845, which he was operating for many years. On his return from England the Uddeholm company interviewed him concerning a method of preparing cast steel from charcoal. Another son, Nils Fredrik, was also rewarded a scholarship and went to Solingen, in Germany, and to France where he was employed by the well known manufacture of surgical instruments, Charriere. Reports of these journeys were given to the authorities concerned for the general information of the Swedish industry.

Sweden was represented by the Heljestrand firm’s razors and finer steelware at the World Exhibition in Paris 1855, Stockholm 1866, Bogota 1875, Philadelphia 1876, Chicago 1883, Paris 1900 and 1937.[1]

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