COMPANY, PRODUCTION, HISTORY

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COMPANY, PRODUCTION, HISTORY

Message par jcfiguet le Ven 13 Nov 2015 - 18:28

From the web site of A/S Helle Fabrikker : http://www.helle.no




Company

A/S Helle Fabrikker was established in the early 1930’s in response to hard times and the depression. The unemployed brothers Steinar and Sigmund Helle started making farming tools and other implements in the forge of their father’s farm.
In 1932 they started making small sheath-knives which quickly became popular locally. Thus, the foundations of an important business in a typically Western-Norwegian rural area were laid.
As production increased they were forced to go further afield to sell their products.
The first big sales journey was by bicycle to Oslo where knives were sold at 40 øre each. Only sheath knives were produced for the first 15 years, but in 1948 production of table knives started, closely followed by forks and spoons.
For the next 25 years, cutlery became the main product, but since the mid 1970’s, sports knives and forged knives for silver cutlery have accounted for most of the production base.
A/S Helle fabrikker is a typical cornerstone business in rural Norway. The village of Holmedal has only 500 inhabitants, whilst the employment catchment area of the business covers a population of 2000. Despite the many challenges this poses, it is counterbalanced by the advantages of a stable, skilled and positive workforce possessing qualities which are hard to find in larger communities.
This is one of many reasons why we look forward to further development with optimism in the same tradition that has distinguished our business throughout its almost 70 year history .


               
Production
 
No machine can replace skilled craftmanship
A Helle knife is made to withstand the stresses and strains that a knife is subjected to outdoors. Helle upholds its traditions of craftsmanship and quality rather than large product lines and automated production. We believe that quality is best preserved through skilful craftsmanship.
Skilled knife specialists take pride in making the Helle brand synonymous with quality. We use up to a half an hour to create a knife, as we want to be sure that your demands for quality and finish are met.
A Helle knife goes through up to 45 different manual operations before it is finally checked and packaged.



History

There have been changes (well, at least a few) – since Steinar Helle cycled over the mountains.
Surrounded by a wild and beautiful landscape lies Holmedal, a small village in Sogn & Fjordane county. Here, amongst mountains and fjords there is ample opportunity to enjoy outdoor life activities such as hunting and fishing, or collecting mushrooms and berries.
Outdoor life was probably not foremost in the minds of brothers Steinar and Sigmund Helle when they started knife production in the old forge at home on their farm in Holmeland in 1932 . Locally, their sheath knives quickly became extremely popular, and the foundations were soon laid for a small piece of Norwegian craftmanship history.
The local market soon became too small, and new markets needed to be conquered. Steinar Helle packed his rucksack full of knives and set off on the long trip over the mountains towards the east. On a bicycle!
In Oslo, he sold the knives for 40 øre apiece.
As there was no electricity in the village, the whetstones had to be spun manually during the initial period. When electricity arrived towards the end of the 1940’s it became possible to move production to larger and more suited premises. This did not mean that production became automated, however.
Then, as today, much of the production is done manually.
The Philosophy remains the same: Quality craftmanship is best preserved by skilled craftsmen. Craftsmen with extensive experience and knowledge still take pride in making each and every Helle knife unique.
Today, Helle knives are sold all aound the world, and customers receive the same quality whether professional hunter, scout or outdoorsman. A knife that is designed to meet the demands of the outdoors, and one that will last for generations.
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jcfiguet
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