Cheese slicers of some sort have been in use throughout Europe for ages, the first patented one though came from Norway. It was invented in 1925 by Thor Bjørklund, a carpenter from the city of Lillehammer, Norway. The design was based on the carpenter’s plane. He was annoyed that he could not get slices as thin as he wanted when he sliced cheese with a knife, he began to experiment with a plane in the hope that he could create something similar for use in the kitchen – and it worked! In 1927 he started the firm today known as Thor Bjørklund & Sønner AS.
You can buy the an original model that comes with a small book of history (pictured to the right) still produced in Lillehammer. The Original 1925 – Buy it here! Since the start in 1925, the factory has produced more than 50 millions cheese slicers. in the early years, it took 50-60 working operations to make a slicer, which took about an hour. The cheese slicer’s mass production started in 1927. The invention tempted copiers. Trials were held, but Bjørklund concluded that he couldn’t fight windmills. He went for quality, better production methods and reasonable prices. After more than 80 years with cheese slicers as main product, Thor Bjørklund & Sønner AS is still the leading manufacturer. Cheese slicers are made in many countries all over the world, but the real Original comes from Bjørklund.
The first aerosol spray can was invented in Oslo in November 23, 1927 by Erik Rotheim, a Norwegian chemical engineer. The first aerosol can and valve could hold and dispense products and propellant systems. This was the forerunner of the modern aerosol can and valve. The Norwegian patent was granted in June 1929. He was awarded the United States patent for the concept on 30 September 1927. The patent was sold to a US company for 100,000 Norwegian kroner. Prior to the issuance of the patent Rotheim had negotiated an agreement with Alf Bjercke’s paint factory in 1928, but commercial success was initially limited. Commercial exploitation of the patent was not significant until it was introduced in the United States in the 1940s. The Norwegian Post Office celebrated the invention by issuing a stamp in 1998.
Jens William Ægidius Elling was a Norwegian inventor who is considered to be the father of the gas turbine. His first gas turbine patent was granted in 1884. In 1903 he completed the first turbine that produced excess power; his original machine used both rotary compressors and turbines to produce 11 bhp (8 kW; 11 PS) net. He further developed the concept, and by 1912 he had developed a gas turbine system with separate turbine unit and compressor in series, a combination that is now common.
One major challenge was to find materials that could withstand the high temperatures developed in the turbine to achieve high output powers. His 1903 turbine could withstand inlet temperatures up to 400° Celsius. Elling understood that if better materials could be found, the gas turbine would be an ideal power source for airplanes. Many years later, Sir Frank Whittle, building on the early work of Elling, managed to build a practical gas turbine engine for an airplane, the jet engine. Ellings gas turbine prototypes from 1903 and 1912 are exhibited at the Norsk Teknisk Museum in Oslo.
Tor Sørnes (born 11 November 1925) is an inventor, engineer and the inventor of the first recodable keycard lock (the VingCard) and the magnetic stripe keycard lock. He was born in 1925 in Sola, Norway. In 1975 Tor Sørnes launched the first recodeable cardkey lock, the VingCard, which used a holecard plastic key. He then led the development of and patented the electronic keycard lock, based on the magnetic stripe key.
In 1975 he launched the holecard based recodeable keycard lock, where each new hotel guest could have his/her own unique key formed by a pattern of 32 holes in a plastic card. The invention is still in worldwide hotel security use under the brand VingCard. The 32 holes in the key gave 4.2 billion combinations, the precise same number as the population of the planet at the time. This lock system was patented in 29 countries.
Export of the system was initialized in 1978 when it was installed Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time the world’s tallest hotel. The hotel had been troubled by burglaries and was eager to test new security innovations. In 1992-93 the electronic magnetic stripe card lock was launched and became a world wide success. Tor Sørnes continued as a vice president and director of R&D at VingCard until retirement in 1992.
Rat Trap Ski Binding (Rottefella)
Bror With (1900—1985), born in Norway’s capital Kristiania, invented Rat Trap Ski Binding (Rottefella), in 1927. He was a mechanical engineer, inventor and industrialist. He graduated in 1925 from the Norwegian Institute of Technology. Rat Trap Binding was the standard cross country binding for over 50 years until it was replaced by the NNN binding.
The night before Bror was to start in a cross country ski race, he took a long look at his ski bindings. He didn`t really like the look of them; they were clumsy and they ate the sole edge of his boots – what could be done? Using his imagination, he scurried around the house and found some odd pieces from an old bicycle. He went to work, forging the pieces in the fireplace and the result – a new binding! Early next morning he was among a long line of skiers at the starting point of the race. The then Crown Prince Olav was in attendance, he himself a skier and a very interested spectator. When he caught sight of Bror with his new bindings, the Crown Prince exclaimed: “Well then, and what kind of bindings are you using?” Bror quickly replied: “Oh, they`re just a couple of rat traps (rottefeller) I just bought at the hardware store!” So, the new bindings were tested and christened at the same time, with a Crown Prince as godfather!
The binding – and the name – was later patented, and the Norwegian military team used the bindings during the Olympics in St. Moritz 1928. The team won a gold medal and the binding became widely recognized. Many medals and honors have since been won with Rottefella bindings on the skis! The combination of high quality and creative design makes the brand name Rottefella just as fresh and innovative today as it was when Bror With invented the modern cross country binding 80 years ago.
Trampe bicycle lift
The inventor of the Bicycle Lift and the owner of the company Design Management AS, Jarle Wanvik, is a true bicycle enthusiast. He always finds an excuse for parking his car and using his bicycle instead. In daily transport to and from work, to the shopping center etc., it is uncomfortable to be too warm and sweaty. In 1992, Wanvik got luminous visions about a bicycle lift that could carry cyclists uphill. Inspired by the ski lift technology, he visualized a lift design by which the cyclists could be pushed uphill without having to descend the bicycle.
The Trampe bicycle lift (Norwegian: Sykkelheisen Trampe) is the first, and currently only, bicycle lift in the world. The prototype was built in 1993 in Trondheim, and it is still in service as of 2005. To use the Trampe, a keycard has to be bought or rented. Buying and renting keycards both costs 100 kroner, but the fee is refunded when renting. When using the lift, the right foot is placed on the starting point (the left foot stays on the bicycle pedal), the keycard is inserted in the card reader and one pushes the start button. After a few seconds, the user is pushed forward and a footplate emerges. A common mistake among tourists and other first-time users is that they don’t keep their right leg outstretched and their body tilted forward. This makes it hard to maintain balance on the footplate, and can result in falling off. In the summer months, the Trampe is used extensively by both commuting inhabitants of Trondheim and tourists with rented keycards. Teenagers sometimes ride (balance on) the footplate without a bicycle, for fun.
The Controversial Invention
The Paper Clip – Johan Vaaler in 1866
Johan Vaaler (1866–1910), has been identified as the inventor of the paper clip. He was granted patents in Germany and in the United States (1901) for a paper clip of similar design to the one used today (Gem), but less functional and practical, because it lacked the last turn of the wire. Vaaler probably did not know that a better product was already on the market, although not yet in Norway. His version was never manufactured and never marketed, because the superior Gem was already available. Long after Vaaler’s death his countrymen created a national myth based on the false assumption that the paper clip was invented by an unrecognized Norwegian genius. Norwegian dictionaries since the 1950s have mentioned Vaaler as the inventor of the paper clip, and that myth later found its way into international dictionaries and much of the international literature on paper clips.
Vaaler probably succeeded in having his design patented abroad, despite the previous existence of more useful paper clips, because patent authorities at that time were quite liberal and rewarded any marginal modification of existing inventions. Johan Vaaler began working for Alfred J. Bryns Patentkontor in Kristiania in 1892 and was later promoted to office manager, a position he held until his death. As the employee of a patent office, he could easily have obtained a patent in Norway. His reasons for applying abroad are not known, but it is possible that he had an exaggerated confidence in his own invention and wanted to secure the commercial rights internationally. Also, he may have been aware that a Norwegian manufacturer would find it difficult to introduce a new invention abroad, starting from the small home market. Vaaler’s patents expired quietly, while the “Gem” was used worldwide, also in Norway.
The originator of the Norwegian paper clip myth was an engineer of the national patent agency who visited Germany in the 1920s to register Norwegian patents in that country. He came across Vaaler’s patent, but failed to detect that it was not the same as the then-common Gem-type clip. In the report of the first fifty years of the patent agency, he wrote an article in which he proclaimed Vaaler to be the inventor of the common paper clip. This piece of information found its way into some Norwegian encyclopedias after World War II.
In 1989 a giant paper clip, almost 7 meters high, was erected on the campus of a commercial college near Oslo in honor of Vaaler, ninety years after his invention was patented. But this monument shows a Gem-type clip, not the one patented by Vaaler. The celebration of the alleged Norwegian origin of the paper clip culminated in 1999, one hundred years after Vaaler submitted his application for a German patent. A commemorative stamp was issued that year, the first in a series to draw attention to Norwegian inventiveness. The background shows a facsimile of the German “Patentschrift”. However, the figure in the foreground is not the paper clip depicted on that document, but the much better-known “Gem”. In 2005, the national biographical encyclopedia of Norway (Norsk biografisk leksikon) published the biography of Johan Vaaler, the inventor of the paper clip.
The content above has been gathered from wiki, the inventors website or their processors site.