The sewing machine became the first civilian product for Husqvarna after almost 200 years only manufactured weapons for Swedish armies. We want to tell much more about this story both on social media and at the museum during the year. As a foretaste a timeline can be found at https://www.husqvarnaviking.com/sv-SE/About
1919: Beginning of Husqvarna lawn mowers
In 1918 Husqvarna purchases the Norrahammar Works (NHB) – founded in 1877 – south of Jönköping. Norrahammar had specialized in agricultural tools and also had a good iron foundry, so it was perhaps logical to deploy the production of lawn mowers there. It is not clear whether it was Husqvarna or Norrahammar who had come up with the idea to develop lawn mowers. It is however believed it was local manager Eric Hedenblad at NHB who was the man responsible. In the first year – 1919 – only 24 lawn mowers were made, mostly in cast iron.
1946: The first lawn mower with an engine
Husqvarna had, in co-operation with its subsidiary Norrahammar, developed the first ever motorised lawn mower of the Husqvarna Group, the Norah 24. It was intended for parks and sports grounds and was only made in 24 copies. In hindsight it must be considered to be an experimental model only.
In 1959 production of regular motorised lawn mowers commences. These were intended for private gardens and the like.
1967: A new lighter walk-behind lawn mower
In total some 1,75 million lawn mowers had been assembled at the Norrahammar works, a production line that for long was exclusive to Norrahammar nationally. On the Monday of the 2nd of October 1967 the last cast iron mowers were made by Husqvarna.
Instead it was lighter materials like skeet iron, steel, nylon and rubber that was to constitute the Husqvarna de Luxe lawn mower and the Clipper 101 power mower.
1972: Modern power mowers!
In 1972 Husqvarnas lawn mower MK500. For these mowers Husqvarna develop an own two-stroke engine, that mixes oil and petrol automatically. They were also equipped with Duojet, a system with two separate grass discharges – a collector or a discharge on the side.
1987: Husqvarna Rider – unique ride-on mowers
In the beginning of the 1980’s Husqvarna develops a ride-on lawn mower. This took place at a small unit in Jonsered (outside Gothenburg), later to be transferred to – and further developed at – the Ödeshög plant. In 1986 Husqvarna could present a first ride-on lawn mower, which was given the name Rider (or The Rider) and in the spring of 1987 production was in full swing.
Already during the development stage the ride-on was equipped with a unique, and later patented, articulated steering which was inspired from the covered wagon used in the Wild West! Many of the early technical solutions is still present in contemporary ride-on lawn mowers.
In 2011 the first Rider for professional use was launched and in 2012 the first battery-operated ride-on lawn mower was introduced. In 2015 half a million Riders had been manufactured.
1995: The first robotic mower
In 1995 Husqvarna launched the first ever automatic robotic lawn mower, the so-called Solar Mower. With solar energy only this had powers enough to support both the wheels and the cutting system. In the beginning the solar mower was only showed at fairs and at retailers shops, while it was still under trials.
In 1998 it was time for the next step in the development of robotic mowers when the completely automatic robotic mower AutoMower was launched. In order to enable continuous mowing 24/7 and without regards to weather conditions the AutoMower was equipped with a rechargeable battery. In 2003 a third generation of robotic mowers came with had new functions. Also a hybrid version was launched, being “fueled” by both solar and electrical energy. Since then, several new innovations has been presented. In 2017 one million of robotic mowers had been produced by Husqvarna.
Here you can learn more about the Husqvarna lawn mowers of today!
On the Thursday of the 22nd of February we at Husqvarna Museum had the pleasure to host the presentation of Husqvarna’s new bicycles! After 50 years in abeyance the production of Husqvarna bicycles has been resumed. This is done in a partnership between Husqvarna Group and the German bicycle manufacturer Pexco. Last time Husqvarna’s name adorned a bicycle was in 1968 when Swedish bicycle manufacturer Monark-Crescent in Varberg ceased their production of Husqvarna bicycles. The new bicycles – which are battery-equipped – will be available in 35 different models and will be on sale in Sweden from later this year. With so many models there will be something for both the mountain bike enthusiast as well as the everyday city rider, biking between home and workplace.
In these images Mr. Kai Wärn, Husqvarna’s CEO, is seen accepting one of the first Husqvarna bicycles and also trying it out outside the museum. The bike may now be viewed at the museum. Welcome!
Today, the 22nd of November 2017 Husqvarna Ltd. celebrates its 150th anniversary as a joint-stock company.
Today’s Husqvarna PLC was founded as a government-owned small arms factory in Jönköping on the 15th of February 1620. It would be managed in its old, and increasingly unmodern, form as a manufacturing organisation for about 250 years. When, in the mid-19th century Sweden adopted its first corporation law, also the small arms factory would reorganise as a limited company; having developed into a society of “share-owners” from 1820.
This came into being in 1867 and the man behind the change was Hugo Tamm, owning the largest part of the old factory, aided by his father-in-law who owned a smaller part. On the 22nd of November 1867 the first Annual Grand Meeting was held, formally constituting the company: The Husqvarna Small Arms Company Ltd.
At this time the factory was completely devoted to military armament but as Sweden was – and still is! – in a prolonged period of peace, it meant that civilian production was necessary to stay in business. So in 1872 a sewing machine, The Northern Star (or The Cat’s Back as everybody called it!), was presented to the market.
In the mid-1950’s the company was introduced at the Stockholm Stock Exchange. In 1970 the first ever Swedish female company member was elected to the board, CEO Lil Wettergren, Pauliströms Bruk Ltd. She is perhaps mostly known as being the inventor of children’s diapers made by paper. And in 1973 the first representatives of the employees was admitted to the company board: K-G Axelsson for the officials and Våge Bolin for the workers.
The rest is history as we tend to say. The Husqvarna company would with time expand the civilian side of business and is today a major manufacturer of motorised garden-, forest- & construction products.
The 21st Husqvarna Rally will take place on the 3d of June 2017, organised by the Husqvarna Motorcycle Society and the Husqvarna Museum.
Extended opening hours in the museum: 11 am until 5 pm.
START: at 9 am in Stockmakarbyn (“The Stock Makers’ Village”).
FINISH: at Husqvarna Museum.
For more information, please see the homepage of the motorcycle society: http://www.husqvarnamotorcyklar.nu/
Friday the 5th of May the museum could welcome a very special visitor. Former arms assembler Nils “Nisse” Abrahamsson came with his son Hans as company. Nils is at 97 (!) and having worked for 51 years (!) the now last living small arms artisan, a tradition that goes back approx. 600 fantastic years!
Nils and Hans was naturally most interested in our arms collection and so went to the Small Arms Room. Inside they took great interest in many of the rifles and shotguns and Nils remembered vividly how exacting the application of gold details to the 1989 Husqvarna Jubilee shotgun – a hammerless side-by-side piece – were.