Travel and New Countries…

…almost always give new perspectives and new knowledge. After having researched older mines in the Jokkmokk mountians for many years, I’ve collected a few enticingly interesting things that I carry around in my back pocket. Things that add to the history of older mining but don’t carry a lot of weight to justify in-depth studies.

One of these things is a small portable forge I had found in Ruotevare, northwest of Kvikkjokk. The remains were just that…remains and difficult to understand how it worked. It was a simple construction, about 1 meter in height, once having leather bellows and a deep table where wood charcoal was put and a fire lit to heat iron drills so these could be sharpened.

Photo: A 19th century portable field forge by Alldays & Onions, Birmingham found in the mining remains of the Falk-Nila Mine in Laponia/ Padjelanta Nat. Park in Jokkmokk

Interestingly enough, I stumbled over another one, thus making two, when doing an inventory of the Falk-Nila mining remains. Besides being a somewhat different model, this one presented new information. It was made by Alldays & Onions in Birmingham with probable offices in London. An archaeologist, participating in the 2006 project, learned that this odd named company still exists and it has origins from the 17th century with specialties in mining equipment.

So, it was really fun to have visited the Aberdeen Maritime Museum and find a “rivet forge” on display. Even more fun was to find the very same model of this rivet forge on display at the Shetland Museum. If I remember right, even the mining museum at LKAB has one.

Photo: A portable “rivet forge” displayed at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum being the same model found at Ruotevare

According to a museum attendant at Aberdeen Maritime Museum, the simple rivet forge was probably copied and manufactured by a big shipping company in the late 19th century. The reason being that 19th century shipping companies were powerful enough to copy and produce machinery they themselves needed…in spite of stepping on other’s patents. An interesting thought!

Now, a conclusive thought. If these portable forges are so interesting that museums outside of Sweden and that LKAB has them on display, Why is it so difficult to get anyone interested in getting, conserving and displaying the ones I’ve found in my research or even the unique cast iron stoves from latter 18th century at Silpatjåkkå? Or, is this just a Swedish thing?

PS– I want to thank everyone that have written comments to “The Great Adventure” blog!

2 thoughts on “Travel and New Countries…

  1. Perhaps it should be pointed out that by saying you carry around these things in your back-pocket you are talking metaphorically. I mean, LITERALLY carrying these things around would seem rather weird and useless, eh?

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