History Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2019-05-21
This article contains information about Swedish inventions, developments and creations known all over the world. However this listing is just a small selection of all the Swedish inventions and discoveries that have become a worldwide success .

Design

The Coca Cola Bottle

The characteristic Coca Cola bottle was designed by the Swedish-American Alex Samuelson and was introduced in 1916. Alexander Samuelson was a glass engineer and in 1915 he designed the famous Coca-Cola contour bottle which was introduced in 1916; at least it is his name on the patent. The bottle became the most well-known trademark and package in the world. Samuelson was a senior manager at Chapman Root Bottling Company.

The Zipper

The American Elias Howe was the first one to obtain a patent of the zipper in 1851. In this first construction of the zipper the hooks were sewed to the material one by one and this was made by hand. This construction was later improved by several people, among others the American Whitcomb Judson in 1893 and by the Swedish-Americans Peter A. Aronsson in1906 and Gideon Sundbäck in 1913. Sundbäck's idea was to punch out the hooks and fasten them on two pieces of cloth (ribbons). These ribbons (with the zippers) could then be sewn to the clothes with a machine. In 1906, Sundbäck was employed by Universal Fastener Company of Hoboken, New Jersey. Subsequently in 1909, Sundbäck was promoted to the position of head designer at Universal Fastener. Sundbäck developed and improved the zip fastener together with his father-in-law Peter Aronson. Sundbäck also created the manufacturing machine for the new zipper which contributed to its world success.

Music

The Spiritual Song How Great Thou Art (O Store Gud)

The Swedish hymn "O Store Gud" has been translated into several languages in the Christian world. The English name of the hymn is How Great Thou Art and has among others been recorded by Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton. The hymn was written by pastor Carl Boberg (1859 - 1940) in the summer of 1885 in Mönsterås, Småland, Sweden. The hymn saw it's first light on a warm summer day, just after a thunderstorm, when the storm had moved away. Carl Boberg was 26 years old when he wrote the hymn. The song was sold to the Swedish Missionary Society and was sung to the public for the first time in 1888. At first the song was done in 3/4 time but was soon changed to 4/4 time. A lot of Swedish immigrants to the US took this song with them as a remainder of their old country. In the beginning of the 1950's the American revivalist Billy Graham heard the song for the first time and he took the hymn to his heart. He even made this hymn his signature tune. "O Store Gud" is now one of the world's most widely known spiritual songs.

Engineering

The Blowlamp / Blowtorch

Carl Richard Nyberg, 1858-1939 obtained a patent of the blowtorch in 1881 and production started the following year. The blowtorch became a great export success.

The Celsius Thermometer

The thermometer that finally became international standard was the Celsius thermometer with its 100-degree scale (centigrade) starting at the freezing point of water and ending on the boiling point of water. A degree Celsius is written °C. The originator of the Celsius thermometer was the Swede Anders Celsius (1701 - 1744). The Celsius thermometer is also called the Centigrade thermometer in English. However in honor of Anders Celsius the most common name is the Celsius thermometer.

The Dynamite

The Swede Alfred Nobel was born in 1833 in Stockholm and died in 1896 in San Remo, Italy. He was studying chemistry in S:t Petersburg, Russia and was doing experimentation in order to get a fuse and black powder to ignite nitro-glycerin. An Italian chemist had been able to produce nitro-glycerin in 1847. The explosive effect of nitro-glycerin is great, however it is not shockproof and it is difficult to handle. Alfred Nobel solved this problem by mixing nitro-glycerin with porous kieselguhr (diatomite) and thereby the dynamite was invented. In 1867 Alfred Nobel obtained a Swedish patent on dynamite. The dynamite is wrapped in paraffin paper, so called dynamite cartridges. A blasting cap is used to ignite a dynamite cartridge or stick of dynamite. In 1864 a terrible explosion occurred in the Nobel laboratory and five persons were killed, among the Alfred's brother Emil. Alfred Nobel became the leader of a world empire. According to his last will and testament a large part of his fortune was to be used to award great achievements in science, literature and peacekeeping activities. Hereby the Nobel Prize saw its first light. Nobel had decided that five prizes were to be established; in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and a Peace Prize. The prizes in Physics and Chemistry was to be administered by the Swedish Academy of Science, the prize in Medicine by Karolinska institutet and the prize in Literature by the Swedish Academy. The Peace Prize was to be administered by the Norwegian parliament, the Storting (Norway belonged to Sweden between 1814 and 1905). The Nobel Prize Ceremony is held annually at Alfred Nobel's death day, December 10, in Stockholm plus the Peace Prize in Oslo.

The Paraffin / Kerosene Stove

C. Östlund patented a first gasification burner in 1885. In 1892 Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist, 1862-1931, obtained a patent on a Kerosene Stove operated by compressed air, the so-called Primusköket (The Primus Stove), which became a great export success all over the world.

The Gas Lighthouse

At the turn of the century 1900 Nils Gustav Dahlén, 1869 - 1937, and Henrik von Celsing got interested in illuminating engineering. Within this field, acetylene gas had recently been known as an alternative to electricity and town gas. Dahlén developed an automatic beacon lighting system, which reduced the consumption of acetylene gas with over 90 %. With a revolving light apparatus he got the beacon lighting to turn on and turn off in regular intervals, and with the help of a light sensor he got the lighting in the lighthouse to be turned off at daytime. The company Gustav Dahlén and Henrik von Celsing started later became known as AGA AB. Gustav Dahlén received the Nobel Prize in 1912.

The Ball Bearing

A ball bearing is a bearing where the rolling bodies consist of balls. The most common type is the "spårkullager". The ball bearing, as we know them today, was developed during the second half of the 1800's. They were then first of all used in bicycles and horse drawn carriages. During the 1900's several new types of ball bearings was developed, for example the spherical ball bearing, which was invented in 1907 by Sven Wingquist, 1876-1953. Sven Wingquist was the Managing Director of AB Svenska Kullagerfabriken (SKF), which was started in 1907 on the initiative of Sven Wingquist. ("Kullager" = ball bearing, "fabrik" = plant/factory).

The Refrigerator Without any Moving Parts

A refrigerator is a heat insulated box or cupboard equipped with a refrigerating machine which provides a desired temperature in box. Already during the period of study in Stockholm at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in the 1920's Baltzar von Platen (1898- 1984) began, together with Carl Munter, to construct a refrigerating machine without any moving parts according to the absorption principle. This invention became a worldwide sensation and was exploited by the Swedish company AB Elektrolux. This invention is still today used to a large extent in refrigerators and freezers intended for places where there is no electricity.

The Pacemaker

A pacemaker is a battery-powered electronic heart stimulator, which can be inserted by operation into a person in order to stimulate the cardiac muscle. The American physician Paul Zoll developed the idea of an electronic heart stimulator in 1952. The Swedish physician and inventor Rune Elmqvist, 1906-1996, developed the first pacemaker, which could actually be inserted by operation. The surgeon Åke Senning carried out the first surgery in 1958.

The Separator

The separator is a device, which can separate two non-mixable liquids of different density or separate liquid and particles, with the assistance of centrifugal force. In 1878 the Swede, Gustaf de Laval, 1845 - 1913, and the Dane, L.C. Nielsen, independently developed the first continuously operating separators. The separator gained a significant importance for the industrialization of the dairying business where it, among other things, was used to separate milk and cream. This made the manufacturing of butter much easier and faster. Gustaf de Laval founded the company AB Separator, today known as Alfa-Laval AB.

The Ship Propeller

The ship's propeller is a device to make a ship to move through the water. Forward propulsion is developed by making the water accelerate astern so that the speed of the propeller's jet stream is greater than the surrounding water. A propeller is composed of a number of blades, fitted to a hub mounted on a rotating propeller shaft. In 1826 the Swede John Ericsson, 1803 - 1889, went to Great Britain. In the UK, among other things, he worked to improve the ship's propeller. Propellers had been tried out in the 1810's but it hadn't found any wide field of application. Ericsson's experiment with two propellers rotating in opposite direction was a new thinking in the area. He constructed a propeller that was used on the two-mast schooner Robert F. Stockton, which sailed to the US in 1839. This ship was the first propeller-driven ship in the USA that was used in maritime trade. During the autumn in 1839, Ericsson went to the USA. He carried on his improvement of the propeller in America. The steam frigate Princeton, which was fitted with an Ericsson propeller, won a race against the side-wheeler Great Western. This victory by a propeller-driven ship lead to the final breakthrough for propeller powered vessels. During the American civil war, Ericsson constructed an armor-clad ship, The Monitor, on behalf of the Union States. The Monitor made considerable achievements during the war. In 1862 she won the naval battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia. During Ericsson's time in the UK he also constructed an effective steam boiler. This steam boiler was used in the railway engine Novelty, that participated in a race on the Manchester–Liverpool line. However, the railway engine Rocket, constructed by George and Robert Stephenson, won this race.

The Safety Match

In 1844 Gustaf Erik Pasch, 1788-1862, invented the safety match. His surname was Berggren until 1806. The safety match is not inflammable unlike the phosphorus match (with white phosphorus on the match head). The firing device on the safety match, which is red phosphorus, has been moved from the match to a special striking surface.

Telephony

Alexander Graham Bell (1847 - 1922) invented the telephone in 1876. Early on, the Swede, Lars Magnus Ericsson (1846 - 1926), became very interested in this means of communication. In 1876 he founded the company L. M. Ericsson, today known as Ericsson. In 1884 he constructed the first handheld micro telephone, which he obtained a patent for in 1895. In 1884 the company's first desk telephone saw its first light. In 1890 this desk telephone was fitted with a handheld micro telephone and became a great success.

Tetra Pak

The Swede, Ruben Rausing, (1895-1983), together with Erik Åkerlund, founded the packing company Åkerlund & Rausing (Å&R) in 1930. Rausing bought out Erik Åkerlund after a few years. Within company the development of plastic-coated cardboard packages for floating merchandise soon started. These packages later became the base of a separate company, Tetra Pak, which was founded in 1950 by Ruben Rausing. This package system that Å&R developed in the 1940's was revolutionary, not only by continuous forming, filling and sealing but also by the material, the plastic-coated cardboard. The first packaging machine was set up at the Lund's dairy in 1952. Good protection by a patent made a quick development possible on both the domestic as well on the international market. The Tetra Pak's packages made a definite breakthrough in the 1960's when the old milk bottles were replaced with packages made of plastic- coated cardboard.

The Three-Phase System

The three-phase system is an alternating current system (A.C.), which consists of three connected electric circuits. The three-phase system is based on a patent obtained by Jonas Wenström (1855-1893) in 1890.

Tungsten

In 1751 Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, (1722-1765), discovered a mineral that he, due its high density, called tungsten; later the name was changed to scheelit. in 1781 Carl Wilhelm Scheele, (1742-1786), proved that tungsten consists of lime and an unknown acid, tungsten acid. Scheele managed to transfer tungsten acid into crystallized salts with the help of potassium carbonate and ammonia. However he didn't manage to reduce it. Two Spaniards discovered the same acid that Scheele had found in tungsten, in the mineral Volfram and they managed to reduce it to a metal as they named Volfram. Germany used the name Scheelium in honor of Scheele's discovery. Sweden uses the name Volfram. However many countries use the original name, Tungsten; the Swedish name of the mineral that Scheele found in the highest oxide of the metal. The English spoken countries uses the name Tungsten, the French use tungstène and the Italians tungsteno. Scheele also discovered the element chlorine.

Tools

The Pipe Wrench

The Swede Johan Petter Johansson, 1853-1943, invented the pipe wrench in 1888. A pipe wrench is a pair of jaws with an adjustable width. It is designed to tighten the grip when you turn it in one of the directions.

The Adjustable Spanner / Wrench

The Swede Johan Petter Johansson, 1853-1943, developed the wrench or the adjustable spanner of the model that is used all over the world today. He obtained a patent for it in 1892. The wrench is also called Swedish wrench key.

Source of References

Swedish National Encyclopedia, NE Top of page

Swedish Inventions

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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
History Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2019-05-21
This article contains information about Swedish inventions, developments and creations known all over the world. However this listing is just a small selection of all the Swedish inventions and discoveries that have become a worldwide success .

Design

The Coca Cola Bottle

The characteristic Coca Cola bottle was designed by the Swedish-American Alex Samuelson and was introduced in 1916. Alexander Samuelson was a glass engineer and in 1915 he designed the famous Coca-Cola contour bottle which was introduced in 1916; at least it is his name on the patent. The bottle became the most well-known trademark and package in the world. Samuelson was a senior manager at Chapman Root Bottling Company.

The Zipper

The American Elias Howe was the first one to obtain a patent of the zipper in 1851. In this first construction of the zipper the hooks were sewed to the material one by one and this was made by hand. This construction was later improved by several people, among others the American Whitcomb Judson in 1893 and by the Swedish-Americans Peter A. Aronsson in1906 and Gideon Sundbäck in 1913. Sundbäck's idea was to punch out the hooks and fasten them on two pieces of cloth (ribbons). These ribbons (with the zippers) could then be sewn to the clothes with a machine. In 1906, Sundbäck was employed by Universal Fastener Company of Hoboken, New Jersey. Subsequently in 1909, Sundbäck was promoted to the position of head designer at Universal Fastener. Sundbäck developed and improved the zip fastener together with his father-in-law Peter Aronson. Sundbäck also created the manufacturing machine for the new zipper which contributed to its world success.

Music

The Spiritual Song How Great Thou Art (O

Store Gud)

The Swedish hymn "O Store Gud" has been translated into several languages in the Christian world. The English name of the hymn is How Great Thou Art and has among others been recorded by Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton. The hymn was written by pastor Carl Boberg (1859 - 1940) in the summer of 1885 in Mönsterås, Småland, Sweden. The hymn saw it's first light on a warm summer day, just after a thunderstorm, when the storm had moved away. Carl Boberg was 26 years old when he wrote the hymn. The song was sold to the Swedish Missionary Society and was sung to the public for the first time in 1888. At first the song was done in 3/4 time but was soon changed to 4/4 time. A lot of Swedish immigrants to the US took this song with them as a remainder of their old country. In the beginning of the 1950's the American revivalist Billy Graham heard the song for the first time and he took the hymn to his heart. He even made this hymn his signature tune. "O Store Gud" is now one of the world's most widely known spiritual songs.

Engineering

The Blowlamp / Blowtorch

Carl Richard Nyberg, 1858-1939 obtained a patent of the blowtorch in 1881 and production started the following year. The blowtorch became a great export success.

The Celsius Thermometer

The thermometer that finally became international standard was the Celsius thermometer with its 100- degree scale (centigrade) starting at the freezing point of water and ending on the boiling point of water. A degree Celsius is written °C. The originator of the Celsius thermometer was the Swede Anders Celsius (1701 - 1744). The Celsius thermometer is also called the Centigrade thermometer in English. However in honor of Anders Celsius the most common name is the Celsius thermometer.

The Dynamite

The Swede Alfred Nobel was born in 1833 in Stockholm and died in 1896 in San Remo, Italy. He was studying chemistry in S:t Petersburg, Russia and was doing experimentation in order to get a fuse and black powder to ignite nitro-glycerin. An Italian chemist had been able to produce nitro- glycerin in 1847. The explosive effect of nitro- glycerin is great, however it is not shockproof and it is difficult to handle. Alfred Nobel solved this problem by mixing nitro- glycerin with porous kieselguhr (diatomite) and thereby the dynamite was invented. In 1867 Alfred Nobel obtained a Swedish patent on dynamite. The dynamite is wrapped in paraffin paper, so called dynamite cartridges. A blasting cap is used to ignite a dynamite cartridge or stick of dynamite. In 1864 a terrible explosion occurred in the Nobel laboratory and five persons were killed, among the Alfred's brother Emil. Alfred Nobel became the leader of a world empire. According to his last will and testament a large part of his fortune was to be used to award great achievements in science, literature and peacekeeping activities. Hereby the Nobel Prize saw its first light. Nobel had decided that five prizes were to be established; in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and a Peace Prize. The prizes in Physics and Chemistry was to be administered by the Swedish Academy of Science, the prize in Medicine by Karolinska institutet and the prize in Literature by the Swedish Academy. The Peace Prize was to be administered by the Norwegian parliament, the Storting (Norway belonged to Sweden between 1814 and 1905). The Nobel Prize Ceremony is held annually at Alfred Nobel's death day, December 10, in Stockholm plus the Peace Prize in Oslo.

The Paraffin / Kerosene Stove

C. Östlund patented a first gasification burner in 1885. In 1892 Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist, 1862-1931, obtained a patent on a Kerosene Stove operated by compressed air, the so-called Primusköket (The Primus Stove), which became a great export success all over the world.

The Gas Lighthouse

At the turn of the century 1900 Nils Gustav Dahlén, 1869 - 1937, and Henrik von Celsing got interested in illuminating engineering. Within this field, acetylene gas had recently been known as an alternative to electricity and town gas. Dahlén developed an automatic beacon lighting system, which reduced the consumption of acetylene gas with over 90 %. With a revolving light apparatus he got the beacon lighting to turn on and turn off in regular intervals, and with the help of a light sensor he got the lighting in the lighthouse to be turned off at daytime. The company Gustav Dahlén and Henrik von Celsing started later became known as AGA AB. Gustav Dahlén received the Nobel Prize in 1912.

The Ball Bearing

A ball bearing is a bearing where the rolling bodies consist of balls. The most common type is the "spårkullager". The ball bearing, as we know them today, was developed during the second half of the 1800's. They were then first of all used in bicycles and horse drawn carriages. During the 1900's several new types of ball bearings was developed, for example the spherical ball bearing, which was invented in 1907 by Sven Wingquist, 1876-1953. Sven Wingquist was the Managing Director of AB Svenska Kullagerfabriken (SKF), which was started in 1907 on the initiative of Sven Wingquist. ("Kullager" = ball bearing, "fabrik" = plant/factory).

The Refrigerator Without any Moving Parts

A refrigerator is a heat insulated box or cupboard equipped with a refrigerating machine which provides a desired temperature in box. Already during the period of study in Stockholm at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in the 1920's Baltzar von Platen (1898-1984) began, together with Carl Munter, to construct a refrigerating machine without any moving parts according to the absorption principle. This invention became a worldwide sensation and was exploited by the Swedish company AB Elektrolux. This invention is still today used to a large extent in refrigerators and freezers intended for places where there is no electricity.

The Pacemaker

A pacemaker is a battery-powered electronic heart stimulator, which can be inserted by operation into a person in order to stimulate the cardiac muscle. The American physician Paul Zoll developed the idea of an electronic heart stimulator in 1952. The Swedish physician and inventor Rune Elmqvist, 1906-1996, developed the first pacemaker, which could actually be inserted by operation. The surgeon Åke Senning carried out the first surgery in 1958.

The Separator

The separator is a device, which can separate two non-mixable liquids of different density or separate liquid and particles, with the assistance of centrifugal force. In 1878 the Swede, Gustaf de Laval, 1845 - 1913, and the Dane, L.C. Nielsen, independently developed the first continuously operating separators. The separator gained a significant importance for the industrialization of the dairying business where it, among other things, was used to separate milk and cream. This made the manufacturing of butter much easier and faster. Gustaf de Laval founded the company AB Separator, today known as Alfa-Laval AB.

The Ship Propeller

The ship's propeller is a device to make a ship to move through the water. Forward propulsion is developed by making the water accelerate astern so that the speed of the propeller's jet stream is greater than the surrounding water. A propeller is composed of a number of blades, fitted to a hub mounted on a rotating propeller shaft. In 1826 the Swede John Ericsson, 1803 - 1889, went to Great Britain. In the UK, among other things, he worked to improve the ship's propeller. Propellers had been tried out in the 1810's but it hadn't found any wide field of application. Ericsson's experiment with two propellers rotating in opposite direction was a new thinking in the area. He constructed a propeller that was used on the two-mast schooner Robert F. Stockton, which sailed to the US in 1839. This ship was the first propeller-driven ship in the USA that was used in maritime trade. During the autumn in 1839, Ericsson went to the USA. He carried on his improvement of the propeller in America. The steam frigate Princeton, which was fitted with an Ericsson propeller, won a race against the side-wheeler Great Western. This victory by a propeller-driven ship lead to the final breakthrough for propeller powered vessels. During the American civil war, Ericsson constructed an armor-clad ship, The Monitor, on behalf of the Union States. The Monitor made considerable achievements during the war. In 1862 she won the naval battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia. During Ericsson's time in the UK he also constructed an effective steam boiler. This steam boiler was used in the railway engine Novelty, that participated in a race on the Manchester–Liverpool line. However, the railway engine Rocket, constructed by George and Robert Stephenson, won this race.

The Safety Match

In 1844 Gustaf Erik Pasch, 1788-1862, invented the safety match. His surname was Berggren until 1806. The safety match is not inflammable unlike the phosphorus match (with white phosphorus on the match head). The firing device on the safety match, which is red phosphorus, has been moved from the match to a special striking surface.

Telephony

Alexander Graham Bell (1847 - 1922) invented the telephone in 1876. Early on, the Swede, Lars Magnus Ericsson (1846 - 1926), became very interested in this means of communication. In 1876 he founded the company L. M. Ericsson, today known as Ericsson. In 1884 he constructed the first handheld micro telephone, which he obtained a patent for in 1895. In 1884 the company's first desk telephone saw its first light. In 1890 this desk telephone was fitted with a handheld micro telephone and became a great success.

Tetra Pak

The Swede, Ruben Rausing, (1895-1983), together with Erik Åkerlund, founded the packing company Åkerlund & Rausing (Å&R) in 1930. Rausing bought out Erik Åkerlund after a few years. Within company the development of plastic-coated cardboard packages for floating merchandise soon started. These packages later became the base of a separate company, Tetra Pak, which was founded in 1950 by Ruben Rausing. This package system that Å&R developed in the 1940's was revolutionary, not only by continuous forming, filling and sealing but also by the material, the plastic-coated cardboard. The first packaging machine was set up at the Lund's dairy in 1952. Good protection by a patent made a quick development possible on both the domestic as well on the international market. The Tetra Pak's packages made a definite breakthrough in the 1960's when the old milk bottles were replaced with packages made of plastic-coated cardboard.

The Three-Phase System

The three-phase system is an alternating current system (A.C.), which consists of three connected electric circuits. The three-phase system is based on a patent obtained by Jonas Wenström (1855-1893) in 1890.

Tungsten

In 1751 Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, (1722-1765), discovered a mineral that he, due its high density, called tungsten; later the name was changed to scheelit. in 1781 Carl Wilhelm Scheele, (1742-1786), proved that tungsten consists of lime and an unknown acid, tungsten acid. Scheele managed to transfer tungsten acid into crystallized salts with the help of potassium carbonate and ammonia. However he didn't manage to reduce it. Two Spaniards discovered the same acid that Scheele had found in tungsten, in the mineral Volfram and they managed to reduce it to a metal as they named Volfram. Germany used the name Scheelium in honor of Scheele's discovery. Sweden uses the name Volfram. However many countries use the original name, Tungsten; the Swedish name of the mineral that Scheele found in the highest oxide of the metal. The English spoken countries uses the name Tungsten, the French use tungstène and the Italians tungsteno. Scheele also discovered the element chlorine.

Tools

The Pipe Wrench

The Swede Johan Petter Johansson, 1853-1943, invented the pipe wrench in 1888. A pipe wrench is a pair of jaws with an adjustable width. It is designed to tighten the grip when you turn it in one of the directions.

The Adjustable Spanner / Wrench

The Swede Johan Petter Johansson, 1853-1943, developed the wrench or the adjustable spanner of the model that is used all over the world today. He obtained a patent for it in 1892. The wrench is also called Swedish wrench key.

Source of References

Swedish National Encyclopedia, NE Top of page

Swedish Inventions