Industrial Heritage at Klaverens House

Last days at the Factory

The industrial history collection in Klaverens Hus is the most extensive of its kind in Sweden. It consists of tools, machines, materials, templates, drawings, photographs, interviews with manufacturers, workers, representatives of sales organisations, etc. and other documentation from our piano and organ factories.

Much material has disappeared in connection with bankruptcies, relocations and company reorganisations, some also through sales abroad. The foreman, piano technician, tuner, and intonator, etc. Nils Degertorp (1928-1994), who was in charge of Malmsjö in Arvika during the last years before the closure in 1977, has given a thought-provoking description of how it happened:

“When we shut down production in Klässbol, everything would be tipped. Everything would go away. Jahn-piano was in and of itself there and bought some semi-finished products, but otherwise most things went awry. All handmade iron frame templates in wood, templates for drilling and gluing, all fine models that cost thousands of kronor to make, all binders with pictures from old times and with materials from all the music shops we had around Sweden, everything was removed. I went to the tip afterwards and managed to save some binders but that was all. Otherwise, generations of accumulated knowledge were tossed away. Terrible!”

From an interview conducted in the summer of 1991 by Hans Näslund

What we have left is the debris from a rich world. Therefore, it is important to preserve everything that may still be left if it is “only” a work bag with a few tools by a professional, or a couple of photographs from one of the factories. We have the final opportunities to find the professionals and tradition bearers from the factories who are still alive, and capture the knowledge of life and work in these that they have.

One of the smaller collections of industrial heritage in Klaverens Hus is the J.P. Nyström depository, which contains scrapbooks 1924-1939 and work pictures from the factory; as well as gifts from foreman Yngve Norrby (Gunnarskog), including a model along with drawings for pianos, and a larger aerial photo of Östlind & Almquist’s factory complex in Arvika.

Our seven major collections are presented individually:

AB Förenade Piano and Organ Factory, Arvika
Anton Almquist collection, Arvika
Baumgardt pianofabrik, Linköping
Conny Carlsson Collection
Herrljunga piano and organ history collection
S. Ljungqvist Organ Factory, Vänersborg and Landvetter
Martin Axelsson collection, Arvika