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Dalénmuseum
Text and picture Björn Bellander. Picture current 2010 Pages 11
Back Museum Official website Swedish version

since 140123
Updated
2017-05-07
© Björn Bellander
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Created 140123
 

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Aga story

 

Daléns fädernegård. Ref 1
 
In the end of 1800 and upt o 1950 there were several great Swedish inventors/industrial men.

The most well known Swedish inventors which all people would know about. The real heavy names are: Christopher Polhem, Emanuel Swedenborg, Anders Celcius, John Ericsson, John o Carl Lundström, L.M. Ericsson, C.E. Johansson, Sven Wingquist, Gustav Dalén, Gustav DeLaval, Alfred Nobel, Enoch Thulin, Oskar o Alrik Hult, Birger o Fredrik Ljungström and one from our days Håkan Lans.

I planned from the beginning only 5 but a last showed all these I here have mentioned, who created and/or established important companies which many still are working in the 2100 years.

During year 2000, Sweden have been depending upon these industrial men. It has not during 2000 any new great inventors showed up in the same dignity. Today we have industrial leaders who take care of these companies, but they don't create any new inventions.

But the man we should tell you about which have connection with Dalénmuseum was Gustav Dalén.

On the family estate Gustaf had constructed one device with which he could measure the fat content for milk. With this he went to Stockholm to meet Gustaf DeLaval for demo.

Yet it showed that DeLaval already knew about such a patent. Dahlén instead got the request to educate technical and got also offer for employment.

This became the turnover point. Dalén studied what he missed and was accepted to study at Chalmers in Gothenburg. After examination he went to Switzerland and learned at Technical in Zürich steam technic.

His inventions showed up in that nice times when electricity not yet had conquered the world. His big work was the development to use gases especially acetylene.

Gustav Dalén was born 1862 as the youngest child in the family Johansson in Stenstorp Västergötland. See picture of the family house. The family was relatively in good conditions and could afford to send their 2 boys to study. The 2 girls did not need because they should marry. Gustaf was most interested in mechanical things which had connection with the farm.

He got the commission to take over the farm. His first invention was intended for his own wellbeing. At 13 years of age he created with the help of a wall clock an automatism to light a gasoline lamp to heat the coffee pot. Everything was ready when he woke up.


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The Sunvalve

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But he didn't got job at DeLaval because of bad times. But he had during a short time work at DeLaval steam Turbine. Instead it became Swedish Carbide. Lucky was that, as his great inventions should be done here. Swedish Carbide was later reorganized and changed named to AGA.

One of the first things was the binding of acetylene in a steel gas bottle. He mixed cement, carbon and asbestos. This mixture absorbed the gas and made it non explosive.

This was called the AGA-mixture. When developing this gas it happened a gas explosion and Gustaf was badly hurt, and also destroyed his eyes 1912.

An important task was to minimize the consumption of acetylene in the AGA lighthouses.

He solved this with his sun valve. The consumption now was reduced by 94%. With this invention he could earn money.

Aga got a large order from all lighthouses in the Panama channel. Then he reinforced the intensity of light with adding oxygen to acetylene and also that the gas was lighted using a glowing net. This device was called the Dalénmixer. 1909 he was appointed general manager for AGA.

1912 Gustaf was honored the Nobel Prize in Physics. He continued now to lead AGA concern up to 1937. In his name there were 99 patents. Several of these generated new products within the gas technology and medical care.

1937 he got the information that he suffered from cancer and it was supposed for him to live just another 2 years. Now Gustaf Dalén resigned as general manager and survived only till the end of 1937.


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Aga spisen

AGA  cookers i England

AGA-spisen. Ref 1
 
Among all of the inventions that Gustaf solved was to minimize the consumption of solid fuel for all the stoves in the  kitchens of the world.

He made this with his brilliant working AGA stove. At last families could cock food in a more temperature controlled way.

He had though one hard competitor in the cast iron stoves from Husqvarna. They were normally walled in all houses and apartments.

 

The AGA stove became more popular in England than in Sweden and it was also developed by a company in England. This was made so far that it is considered invented there.

In England the carbon/coke were the main important solid fuels to heat with. Furthermore they could be connected for heating the water systems in houses.

If you search on internet for this type of stove, it can still be bought, while it in Sweden since long time been out of use.


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AGA inventions

 

 

AGA:s patentträd. Ref 1
 
Among all the patent which AGA owned, you can look in the company tree for AGA. Here are all patents that have generated new products.

But new times will always come and with this time new general managers. Such a time in the world was 1970. All companies had to work with there main products.

General manager Sven Ågrup sold most of the patent products of AGA.

In this product tree you can see several well known things.

Headlights for cars 1907. Systems for light houses 1906. AGA stoves. Welding schools 1916 and welding machines 1924. Radio receiver 1925. AGA-car. Breathing gases and heart-lung machine and many others.

Those investment which should charge Dalén's economy hard was his aircraft interest hard. Also the AGA car.


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AGA car

Om AGA bilen. Ref 1

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Thulin story

AGA bilen. Ref 1
 
About Dalén, AGA-car and AETA

Gustav Dalén was very interested in the new science of aviation. In order to support this he was a member of the Aeronautics Society from 1908. In the beginning of 1900 it was balloon flying which was the way. The military put money on this and thought that this was the solution to fight and kill an enemy.


Since some years after 1900 France began to concentrate on learning to fly heavier than air.

The explosion engine was now so developed that it reached 40 ps which was normally the  lowest range for power to succeed to get an aircraft with pilot up in the air.

After the flight over English channel people believed that it was possible to fly.

In Sweden two men started trials with aircrafts. First Nyrop and Ask. Ask then merged his company with Enoch Thulin. Enoch man created the first aircraft industry in Sweden. Thulinworks. They started to copy the Bleriot's aircraft.


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AGA-car factory

Artikel om Aga bilen. Ref 1

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Dalenmuseet. Ref. 1
 

Dalén got the inquiry from Thulin to be part owner in Thulinworks AETA 1914. This company should produce aircrafts and engines for the military. Sweden, Denmark and Holland were the biggest customers.

Gustav Dalén was one of the largest economical supporters and was also part owner in Thulin Factory from 1915.

During the years up to 1918 700 aircraft engines and 99 aircrafts were produced.

The biggest problem for Thulin came up when WWI ended and his possibilities was over to sell military aircrafts. But now the private car was on it's way and there was hope to replace the military product with the car.

Gustav Dalén had big business in Germany. WWI stopped him to develop his products. He was forced to adopt. Acetylene started instead to be used for petrol.


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Picture from AGA car production.

Artikel om Aga bilen. Ref 1

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Dalenmuseet. Ref. 1
 

When I was a child before and during WWII, I remember my father had gas tubes mounted on the family car. Headlight for cars used acetylene.

Gustaf had money in a German Auto company Autogen Werke AG. AGA financed this business.

At this factory in Berlin Lichtenberg equipments for acetylene, engine driven sledges and parts for machine guns. For example parts for Fokkers aircraft machine guns, which could fire through the propeller. Large sum of money was invested to produce aircraft engines. Large profits were also made.

Now it became peace 1918. Most products  became impossible to sell. AGA got a complete drawings for a car. It came from Fabrique National in Belgium (FN). This car had been produced before 1914.

This should also be used at Thulinworks to replace the military products. This was also a part of the German state company which worked hard to create work in Germany. The car was now to be produced both in Sweden and Germany.

The FN-car was now called AGA. The production was prepared in Landskrona. Thulin had orders for from a company in Stockholm to produce 1000 cars. Large investment were required to make the production rational.

Well, Enoch Thulin, the leading man at Thulinworks crashed and died during a test flight. The remaining leaders could not stand against debtors. The company was set on bankruptcy for an unpaid charcoal bill.

In the German car factory AGA owned 40% and controlled 60% af the shares. The two sub delivers in AGA stood for 17% each. AGA in Germany produced about 2000 cars up to 1922.


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AGA car

Artikel om Aga bilen. Ref 1

Artikel om Aga bilen. Ref 1

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SAF car

Dalenmuseet. Ref. 1
 

Most parts were delivered to the German military. 1921 when crisis arose in Germany, AGA could handle this depression and they invested in a new AGA car full made of iron plate.

But AGA did not produce the chariot them self, instead it was Karmann and Hawa. A production of 450 car a month was planned.

Now a reorganization of AGA Germany was made and AGA was sold to the Stinnes companies, while Swedish AGA and AG Mansfeld stayed with 15% each. This whole arrangement didn't succeed and a bankruptcy became unavoidable 1926.

 

A forced auction was avoided through an contract with the resellers to buy 100 cars a month.

The difficulties were big and the production ceased till 2 cars a day. At last a new bankruptcy came 1929 and now it was definitely the end after about 8000 AGA cars had been produced.

The car production at Thulinworks in Sweden got the same fate and after 250 car the production ceased 1928. This happened at the same time when Volvo started to deliver their car 1927. About Thulin rise and fall read in my website Thulinverken.

Gustav Dalén almost lost his fortune in these bankruptes, but he never lost his hope and was an everlasting optimist.


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Interest in aircrafts

Om Daléns flygintresse. Ref 1

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Thulinroom Landskrona museum

En kopia av Bleriots plan. Ref 1
 
Enoch would according his mother's wish to be a priest. He escaped from this when his younger brother chose this profession. He chose instead a technical education and got several scholarships to continue his engineer education.

This his way was not directly facing any special profession, instead he moved toward the physical institution where he researched for a licentiate examine.

With this education Enoch could start his economic activity as teacher in physic, chemistry and mathematics. In Stockholm he became on the account of his interest in air flying, qualified by his education, member of the Swedish Aeronautical Society. (SAS).

This society consisted in highly respected persons which would be contact ways for the possibilities for Enoch to start activities in aviation.

There was not yet any knowledge in  Sweden at this time for aviation technical reasons why an aeroplane, heavier than air, could fly.

Several of the first aviation pioneers mainly in France did not understand the principle for streaming air around wings and it's making of under pressure on the upper side of the wings.

They designed their wings after the birds design. These pioneers ended often  miserably poor.

Enoch, who now had changed his first name, examined with an composition discussion about the air streaming toward a plane surface. This research became then his main foundation for his licentiate examine.
 
For everything he planed to do, he was forced to search economical help. 1908-1909 he visited France to educate for pilot license.

As a member of the Aeronautical Society he learned to know Gustaf Dalén at AGA, Gustaf Ericsson at LM Ericsson and Einar Egnell. These men became by time his patrons of the arts.

 

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Pictures from the following owners have been used in
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Reference 1: ©Björn Bellander 
bjorn.bellander(at)telia.com
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