Hand Forged in Sweden since 1697, Hults Bruk evokes a bygone era; a time when axes were an essential lifeline in the wilderness and made for working outdoors the traditional way. Discover its history.
The Royal Adviser Who Established Hults Bruk
In 1697, the Dutchman Jacob Reenstierna established Hult’s iron and steel factory in the inner part of the valley below Ågelsjön located close to the six waterfalls, also known as the ”Bråviken ögonvrå”. The site was protected by the wooded hills of Kolmården. The purpose was to start an iron with nail forging as a speciality with the intention of exporting large parts of the production. Reenstierna was a man with more than one string to his bow, during his career he managed both to be governor of Halland, president of the Municipal Council and adviser of King Karl XII of Sweden. At this time, immigrants’ ideas and initiatives meant much to Sweden’s business community. On 4th of May 1697, Bergskollegiet issued a permit for Jacob Reenstierna to install a drop forge and a manufacture hammer machine. This happened only one month after the death of King Karl XI and a few days before the great castle fire that devastated Stockholm’s castle, Tre Kronor.
War Promotes the Exports of Nails
Nails were the most important product of Hult until 1882, making Hults Bruk one of Sweden’s premier nail manufacturers. The first nail forge was built in 1709 and consisted of four nail hammers. The forge was powered by water power and the nails and bolts were delivered to the Swedish Royal Navy. The nails from Hult was not only popular in Sweden, they enjoyed great success in Europe for their quality was especially sought after in countries that had a large fleet of ships.
During the Great Nordic War (1700-1721) the King of Sweden encouraged manufacturing businesses, especially those associated with exports, as there was a hope that this could strengthen the country’s overall economy. In a letter signed by King Karl XII of Sweden on March 27, 1713, Reenstierna was granted several benefits linked to the activities in Hults, such as a zero duty on export goods such as nails, anchor chains and more. This was a clear sign of the position of the manufacturers and how the state strived to support private entrepreneurs.