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Sweden was the pioneer of the match industry, and the manufacture of machines for match making has kept pace with this development. Already in the beginning of the nineties the Gerh. Ahrens Mek. Verkstads A.-B. introduced their patented matchmaking machines. It was a line that immediately acquired a high reputation and gained a good market abroad. The position has since been strengthened, and Swedish matchmachines have become the leading make. The greater portion of the production is nowadays exported.
Machines for the manufacture of woodpulp, paper and boards occupy a prominent place in the Swedish machine industry. The enormous expansion of the Swedish pulpand paper industries and the high qualities of their products have naturally contributed in bringing out the most serviceable types, and it might be said with equal justice that the expansion of those trades has been facilitated by having at their disposal efficient machines. Simultaneously with the introduction of the chemical pulp processes, of which the sulphate process is a purely Swedish invention, the Karlstad Mek. Verkstads A.-B., and, later on, other firms, began to manufacture the machines and appliances required for those processes of pulp-making. Being in many instances protected by patents they have gained a very good market, and the works now supply the home demand entirely besides exporting to a considerable extent.
Steam turbines have engaged the attention of the Swedish engineering industry a long time. Although these machines are now made in all the industrial countries by a number of makers, the Swedish inventors and builders have always kept in the forefront of developments. The pioneer is the De Laval company which builds both the original de Laval turbines for small units and large turbines for both stationary and marine services. The Stal turbine, invented by the Ljungstroms, is now too well known to require any further mention. The latest development in regard to the latter is its adaptation by the inventor to a locomotive, a departure which promises to revolutionize the application of steam for hauling railway trains.
A late Swedish invention which has attracted the widest notice also refers to a better utilization of steam. This is the steam accumulator. Although only introduced within the last few years it has already been installed in a great number of large industrial works in the Scandinavian and other countries. The great utility of this invention assures it of a very extensive application, and licenses have in consequence been granted to firms in all the industrial countries. The inventor of the system is Dr Ruths who stands at the head of the A.-B. Vaporackumulator, the Swedish parent company.
The large resourees of waterpower in Sweden, and lack of mineral fuel, have caused the former to be taken into very general use. This has, of course, made the demand for water turbines very great. Such a demand has existed a very long time, even before the modern gigantic electrical waterpower plants were thought of or came into being. Swedish works and engineers, therefore, have a very large experience to build on which has resulted in many inventions and improvements in this line. Whenever the economy of an installation has been a factor of decisive importance in selecting the type of prime mover the Swedish water turbines have generally been adopted on the strength of their superior efficiency and other prominent qualities. The leading manufacturers of water turbines are Karlstads Mek. Verkstads A.-B., Nydquist & Holm A.-B., A.-B. Finshyttan, Arboga Mek. Verkstads A.-B., Vaplans Mek. Verkstads A.-B.
Mining machinery are manufactured very extensively in Sweden. As mining is the oldest and one of the most important occupations of the country there is a considerable home market for machines, appliances, and tools used in such operations. The excellence of the Swedish iron and steel is an important factor in this department, and has helped to build up the trade. The export is now also considerable and on the increase. The principal manufacturers are A.-B. Atlas-Diesel, Morgardshammars Mek. Verkstads A.-B., and A.-B. Arboga Mek. Verkstads A.-B.
A very important branch of this group is that of pneumatic machines and tools. Of these the rock drills made by A.-B. Atlas-Diesel deserve special mention as being probably the best of their kind in the world. Other notable machines for mining puposes made in Sweden include ore concentrating machines and plants, diamond rock drills, disintegrators, smelting furnaces, pit-head .winches, elevators, mine pumps, ore separators and crushers, stamping plants, etc.
The Swedish railway system is very highly developed, and the railway rolling stock of both Government and privately-owned railways,practically all supplied by Swedish works, is of admittedly high quality. The chief builders of locomotives in Sweden are A.-B. Nydquist & Holm, A.-B. Lindholmen-Motala, and A.-B. Svenska Jarnvagsverkstaderna. The first named company, especially of late years, has built a large number of locomotives for other countries, and are now the licensees for building the Ljungstrom turbo-locomotives.
The different appliances belonging the »Aga» lighting system form part of a purely Swedish invention being undoubtedly one of the world's foremost lighting and signalling systems. »Aga » lighthouses and buoys are now installed in a great number of countries, in particular along the world's important canals and other watereourses. This lighting method is also largely used for railway signal and block systems and railway car lighting besides automobile searehlights and other vehicle lamps. This ingenious invention, which has proved of such practical value, was made by Dr G. Dahlen, who was awarded the Nobel prize for his researehes in Physics.
The manufacture of cycles has assumed respectable proportions despite the severe competition from abroad. As time went by it was found that conditions in Sweden demanded in the main stronger types than the imported, and the excellent Swedish material proved a valuable ally in bringing out suitable Swedish types of bicycles. Specialization and standardizing have since given the manufacture a firm footing, and has not only shut out the importation of cycles, but has created a considerable demand from abroad besides. The most important firms in this line are now the Husqvarna Vapenfabriks A.-B. and A.-B. Nymans Vcrkstader.
Sewing and knitting machines are made in Sweden comparable with the best of other origin. The same can be said about different kinds of firearms. The principal firm making both of these specialities is the Husqvarna Vapenfabriks A.-B.
An article, more strictly belonging to special industries, is wickless oil stoves and lamps but may be mentioned here as being a characteristic Swedish product. The manufacture was commenced immediately after the original patents were taken out in the eighteennineties. Few articles have been received with such whole-hearted approval, and the demand in all countries was in proportion to the general esteem. The leading position of Swedish oil stoves has been well maintained, and there are by this time few countries or races who are not familiar with them. The pioneer firm was the A.-B. Primus, which has since been followed by A.-B. Max Sievert, A.-B. Radius, A.-B. Optimus and others.
A number of other manufactures more or less connected with the machine industry might be mentioned here. The foregoing, however, gives an idea of the scope of the industry, and tends to show the prominent place occupied by it in the international markets. It is no presumption to assert that the success has been gained more than anything by conscientious workmanship and good materials, and like Swedish raw materials and partly manufactured products, such as ore, iron and steel, woodpulp, etc., the highly finished Swedish manufactures have acquired a good reputation and a strong position in the world markets.
Some Special Mechanical Industries of Sweden
The term special industries is perhaps a little difficult to separate from industries in general. Usually when talking about a special industry one means not only a specialized manufacture of any particular kind but a production which meets a certain demand, a demand which in many cases has been created simultaneously with the invention upon which the branch of manufacture and its development was based. In the following, special attention will be given to some leading industries distinguished by the fact that they are to a special degree the result of successful invention, as a rule in connection with the development of engineering scientific researeh work. — It is difficult, as mentioned above, to draw a distinct boundary. It is a matter for congratulation that Sweden can show a pleasing series of important ventures of this nature whose products for a large part are spread over the entire globe.
The match industry, a speciality, one might almost say a classic industry, of Sweden may in this connection be passed over as it demands a chapter for itself. Another industry, also to a certain degree a classical Swedish one, is the manufacture of cream separators. The oldest and largest of these undertakings is the A.-B. Separator of Stockholm, founded upon the invention of de Laval, whose manufactures are probably now known throughout the world. More recent ventures in this branch are Svenska Centrifug A.-B., A.-B. Baltic, A.-B. Salenius verkstdder and A.-B. Pumpseparator, all situated in Stockholm. These firms also have developed characteristic designs of separators.
A later speciality which nevertheless has reached a notable state of development is the manufacture of milking machines. A well known brand is the »Omega» manufactured by A.-B. Mjblkningsmaskinen Omega of Stockholm.
The Swedish ball bearing industry is well known and is represented by A.-B. Svenska Kallagerfabriken (S. K. F.), established as the result of Dr Sven Wingquisfs invention, and Nordiska Kullager A.-B. (N. K. A.) both of Gothenburg. The first named, older concern has undergone a splendid development and has introduced its manufactures, with the trade mark S. K. F., into all important places in the world market. Both the companies have also worked energetically for the introduction of ball bearings for an increasing variety of purposes. Both these firms also manufacture transmission material, belt pulleys, couplings, etc. So far the ball bearing has not been in general use on standard tram and railway wagons but experiments are in progress. For this purpose the two companies mentioned have designed and brought into the market modified types, the S. K. F. a roller bearing and the X. K. A. a disc bearing.
Allmanna Telefon A.-B. L. M. Ericsson (General Telephone Co. L. M. E.) also belongs to the well known Swedish special industries and their telephone apparatus and accessories have spread to all continents. During the last few years the company has designed and perfected an automatic telephone exchange system which is likely to compete successfully with older German and American construction for this purpose. In addition, the company has taken up the manufacture of electrical meters which have found a great demand, and lastly the company has started manufacturing a great number of special apparatus for railways, such as electrically operated point-switches and locks, safety arrangements for road crossings and movable bridges, train arrival signal telephones, etc. Mechanical point-switches, semaphores, advance signals and various mechanical regulator arrangements are manufactured by A.-B. Vaxlar och Signaler (ados) (Points and Signals Ltd) of Orebro, which company together with L. M. Ericsson has formed a common sales organization »Signalbolaget» (The Signal C ompany) which company, therefore, is enabled to deliver both electric and mechanical switches and signal arrangements. An important detail of railway engineering, the automatic air brake, is now being manufactured in Sweden — on the German Kunze-Knorr system — by A.-B. Nordiska Armaturfabrikema, Stockholm. In this connection should be mentioned an ingenious Swedish invention for the automatic regulation of the brake shoes, invented by engineer A. Djurson and placed on the market by A.-B. Bromsregulator ofMalmo.
A series of particularly important inventions and designs for the development of communications generally have emanated from Svenska A.-B. Gasaccumulator (AGA) of Stockholm — which firm has also been mentioned in another connection — and its founder, the engineer and physicist Gustaf Dalen, Nobel prizeman in Physics. The chief manufactures consist of lighthouse material which has found a market all round the world. The AGA-light with its distinctive characteristics, small fuel consumption and a minimum of attention, is based upon a number of Dalen's inventions: the storage of acetylene gas in a suitable and safe manner in the gas accumulator, the timing apparatus for obtaining intermittent light and the sun-valve for switching off and on according to the light. The company manufactures and supplies complete equipments for lighthouses and light-buoys and has also designed a lighthouse for air traffic. Gas stations have been established in a number of places in Sweden and abroad, even in the Far East. Acetylene lighting with incandescent mantles — Dalen light — has been used for the illumination of railway carriages, vehicles of various kinds, ships, etc. For railway signals the Dalen intermittent light is gaining increased ground and also for warning signals along roads. In conclusion the company manufactures a number of apparatus for motor cars such as seareh lights, starting apparatus, and also welding and cutting apparatus for metal working in workshops. Space does not allow a further description of detail.
A notable place among Swedish special industries is occupied by A.-B. C. E. Johansson of Eskilstuna with their manufacture of precision gauges, which have also worldrenown. The manufacture includes particularly precision gauges on the Johansson method, consisting of gauge blocks of phenomenal accuracy and particularly a series of tools to enable the gauge blocks to be used in a number of different ways. The accuracy of the sets of gauges can be brought up to within two million parts of a millimetre, a result which is probably quite unique. The gauges are manufactured in conformity with a standard system of tolerance with various degrees of fitting, thus cylindrical gauges and ring gauges, adjustable tolerance gauges, seribcrs etc. Latterly an angle gauge set, with accessories for its use, has been evolved and, further, screw-thread gauges, universal micrometers, dividers etc. A new cheap but useful tool, designed for smaller workshops, has been brought into the market in the form of flat-tolerance gauges; the company is also marketing cheaper forms of gauge sets and thread gauges. The important influence which the Johansson system of precision gauging should have upon the development of the entire workshop practice will probably only be fully understood in times to come.