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Ullungsfors

Ullungsfors    Ullungsfors

Industry flourished along the fast-flowing watercourse
Photographs: Lars Lööv

 

Streams and rivers from the north-west converge in lakes and watercourses past one of the parish's biggest farms, the white Passla, and on to Ullungsfors, lake Ullungen and finally the Voxna river.

The rapids provided power for industries on both banks of the river, and Ullungsfors, a small community with shops and an independent church, grew along the banks.

 

The mill and axe forge in Ullungsfors    Worker at the mill in Ullungsfors
The mill and axe forge in Ullungsfors                     Miller Erik Eriksson and smiths Johan Orinder,
Photographs:  Edsbyn Museum                                Per Ungman and  Karl, Jonas and Vilhelm Stålberg
                                                                                        in 1900.

Forge and mill

Farmers have harnessed waterpower in simple water mills since Medieval times. The 17th and 18th centuries saw the growth of technology that made farm work more efficient and simpler. The population grew, and new trades found their place in agrarian society.

Industry was born on the banks of rivers and other waterways. The first industry in Edsbyn, and indeed the entire parish, was established here in Ullungsfors in 1840: the forge, or, as it was popularly known, nail factory. Nails were the main product, but the forge also produced ploughs, hinges, horseshoes, horseshoe nails, sleighs, sledges and cartwheels, and everything else that the farmers needed. There was a mill nearby, and there were constant disputes between the miller and the blacksmiths as both businesses argued over the waterpower. The miller was the one who finally gave in.

In 1857, the forge was transformed into Ullungsfors manufacturing works, which later became the axe factory. The new forestry industry created new businesses, which in turn created the need for new products. The manufacture of nails was replaced by axes and bark spades. At the turn of the 20th century, the business had grown so big that part of it was relocated to the Voxna river, allowing more power to be harnessed. The remainder of the forge continued to make tools for the forestry industry until the 1940s.

 

The factory at Ullungsfors has closed, but there is still a thriving timber processing factory in Edsbyn.

 

Text Ingalill Tengvall

 

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