Ohs factory manor. Ref. 1
Ohs factory manor. Ref. 1
Driving with mc to Ohs veteran railway
Text and pictures Björn Bellander. Pictures current 2008, 2012
 Swedish version  Official website
since 060105
© Björn Bellander
Created 150219

Page Page 1 Ohs räddas Christian Hempel. Page 2 Silversparre. Page 3 Johan Lorenz Aschan. Page 4 Berglund.
Page 5 Om mc Union. Page 6 Om Ohsabanan. Page 7 Lankar
Page 1


About Hempel

Gällaryd area

Den dubbla masugnen i Åkers Styckebruk. Ref.1
Den dubbla masugnen i Åkers Styckebruk. Jfr Långshyttan.  Ref.1
Canon made in Åkers Styckebruk exhibit at Skottvångs mine. Ref. 1
Canon made in Åkers Styckebruk exhibit at Skottvångs mine. Ref. 1

Overview Ohs factory 1700-talet. Ref. Värnamo museum.

Saving Ohs!
Once upon a time it happened as the tales tell you. But this is reality in the 1900 century. The foundry of Ohs Works was going to be auctioned and all working farming men, in the foundry and black smiths were restless moving around talking about what will happen. No doubt many were strengthened with more than one mouthful from what they had in the bottle. The women stood as usual gathered sidewise while the farm hands and blacksmiths were strolling around.

The auction started and one man looked like poor, made several bids for the whole works. No one thought that this man with simple clothes, neglected outward and without any company, could possibly have any money to pay.

When the auction was over and "the pauper" had to pay his bid, he brought up money out of his purse made of fine leather, which was hanging in a strap over his shoulder, and fully paid his bid.

It showed up that this man was no other than the patron at Lessebo Works, Johan Lorenz Aschan. Everybody had of course the meaning that he in this way had bought Ohs for too less money.

More about Ohs from the beginning.
In order to know Ohs from the beginning. The place is mentioned in a paper already 1593 at Uppsala meeting. What this document was about is not known but the farmer Peder Ericsson had signed it. Ohs was owned and administered by the state. Probably the activities in Ohs was farming and extracting iron from the lake ore which was common in the surrounding lake Rusken. The water flow Ohsawater gave power for this.

Christian Hempel.
Now after over 50 years a man Christopher Hansson Hempel is made known. His task was to buy Ohs works and there build up a foundry, a hammer and also take care of the farming. This happened 1661. He got permission 1668 to build the foundry. It is said that the pig iron was transported to Karlshamn for export, but it could as well been brought to Åker where canons were casted.

This Christopher or even listening to Christian, came from Hörle works. There he had married miller Turles' daughter and in this way been the owner of the mill. In the same time the investment company the Baakiska House in Amsterdam built a foundry in Hörle.

In this place Christian worked, born 1620 in Åker, died 1683 and was called foundry master. He was in contact with the Baakiska House, which also owned the works in Taberg since 1652. He was the man who got the mission to buy Ohs.

Just this very man Christian is documented as foundry master in Hörle, established 1659, when he search for "Publicum Attestum" from the local authority 1667. This is the same as working testimonial as he intended to move for another place. This was Ohs in Gällaryd parish. He got privilege for this. The cause for moving was the mission from Amsterdam. This town was the centre for the vast Swedish export of canons. Casting these there was a need for pig iron. This was get from a foundry and the best ore was taken from lakes. Any refreshing of the pig iron was not yet actual.

Iron ore could also have been sold to Åker. See picture of a canon. In Åker fortification canons were casted directly from their foundry. Christian started his life and career in Åker.

A closer investigation of the ancestry of Hempel show that he was son to Hans Hempel active in Åker Canon factory works. This Hans had probably emigrated to Sweden from Germany about 1841, together with Henrik Hempel. Not curious to go together with a mate doing such a unsure action. In Swedish war archive he are named as a German washer, this mean that he talked German. Hans got two sons, Lorens and Christian. These two were identified as slag washers and for this speaking Swedish. With this information it is showed that Christian was an immigrant of the second generation from Germany.

Christian Hempel didn't succeed an acceptable economical result in Ohs. The Baakiska House took over and Christian disappeared in the Swedish industrial mist over Gällaryd parish. On the other hand there were many other foundry masters and hammer masters which continued their work. In order to sort out the right Hempel person are difficult as there are many who make investigations and there are different results. Anyway it is known that Christian had work at Huseby works.

The Baakiska House continued to run Ohs works. There are bad knowledge which persons were running Ohs up to 1750, when Ohs was sold to family Silversparre. Exact year is not known.

Page 2



Sparre Ancestry


Ancestry Silversparre
Some family info. Silversparre has grown out from several families. One aristocratic from county Upland. and one baron family from county Smaland.
This two families were all active in Swedish military. Lars Johan Silversparre, born 1700, dead 1754 in Ohs, came from Orrefors, where he had started a foundry 1726. He took over Ohs and registered there. No one will think that he had knowledge about foundries as 26 year old. He was more an investor. Silversparre owned  Orranäs manor. On these lands an iron work were established as which he was allowed from the crown. Around this a small community grow and got the name Orrefors. Here there were a foundry and several hammers. The reason why he moved to Ohs is not known. As a free rendering he was infirm because of his death already 1754.

In which extent Lars Johan took over control of Ohs, beyond income, there is no knowledge, anyway not officially.

His father Erik went with Charles XII and was killed in Poltava 1709. Lars Johan was active at Kalmar regiment already 1716 and appointed second lieutenant 1722.

He resigned 1727 and was appointed Forest officer 1730 and Forest supervisor 1740. He got approval to start a glassworks in Johanstorp at Lenhovda parish.

He took over Ohs Works in the middle of 1700. Exact year unknown, but lived at Orranäs manor till 1740. He died later 1754 in Ohs Works. His second wife stayed at Ohs till her dead 1808.

After all these investments it is not strange that a tall tale was created about the treasure of Silversparre around in Orranäs parish. This was so serious that people dug after it on the beaches of Orra lake.

Ohs was in the beginning of 1750 in a bad shape because of stagnation and decline. In spite of this it was kept in the ownership of Silversparre up to 1808 when second wife died. The works was sold on a executive auction 1819. Several in the family Silversparre were born at Ohs.

Page 3



Ancestry Aschan

Johan Lorenz Aschan

Johan Lorenz Aschan 2

Aschan o Kleva mine

Johan Lorenz Aschan. Ref 49
Johan Lorenz Aschan. Ref 49
Bohulta stonewall. Ref. 1
Bohulta stonewall. Ref. 1
Bohulta stonewall. Ref. 1
Bohulta stonewall. Ref. 1
Johan Lorenz Aschan.
Now was the time when patron at Lessebo Works, born 1772, dead 1854 (1856?) entering the history of Ohs. He had of course close knowledge in Ohs, which had been in stagnation for a while since Silversparre took over. This was the period between 1740 till 1808. During this time up to 1819 everything must have stand still in Ohs. It was a good bargain for an active industrial man to take over Ohs for a small amount of money. Johan Lorenz owned several works, Åry Works, around Värnamo and of course he had people who could take over and change development. The first task was to bring the farming running and then to start the foundry and hammers which still could be used.

This Johan Lorenz was a remarkable person and also a clever industrial man. He was educated doctor and had a long service period as a doctor. He worked during the finnish war and after that as local doctor in the district of Nora and Linde. He resigned 1812 and was appointed 1814 as Mining adviser. Later 1853 he became a member of Science Academy.

He married to a fortune when marry foundry proprietor Nils Nilsson's daughter Katarina in Grythyttehed 1801. With this money he could buy Lessebo Works 1802. He was known for many donations helping studying people from Linkoping and Vaxjo, in Uppsala or Lund.

His main interest in Ohs was the foundry. He owned several works since earlier. These worked with the lake ore which could be found in abundance mainly for Ohs in lake Rusken. With the help of his youth friend chemist Berzelius he succeeded to  refine this ore. This pig iron became now as good as the much more expensive imported English iron.

He developed several sell worthy casted products for this pig iron, pots and ovens. These product made Smaland world famous. His iron was mainly delivered to Motala. Pig iron was used for it's trapping characteristics in frames of machinery. May be Husqvarna was one of his customers.  Still today, 2000, pig iron pots can be bought with the name Skeppstuna. Johan Lorenz took also over the cooper mine in Kleva and with the help from Berzelius succeeded to refine nickel out of cooper ore. This production went on till 1920.

When Johan Lorenz died he left behind a fortune of about 3 millions rkd. This made that extensive investments were possible to be made.

Nils Nilsson Aschan.
Already 1830 Johan's son Nils, born 1802, died 1888, took over the control of Ohs. He was also as good manager as his father. He had inherited from the patron in Grythyttehed a much harder leadership and with this he kept the work in Ohs with a steady hand. This was made in this time in a dictatorial way. The workers were exceptionally used maximally. The shift work at this time was 13 hours day and 11 hours night.

A remarkable thing was that a new clock time was used. The local Ohs clock was always ½ hour before. This got the name "Ohsa time". No one knows what it was good for. It was not abandoned until 1940. Sweden had not yet introduced common time.

Another thing is that family Aschan could be recognized for was that they when necessary could dress for a special purpose. Nils dressed once as a farmer in order to unveil black smiths for unauthorized selling in "smea forest". The black smiths took overflow iron and made farming tools in order to sell it to the local farmers. This was a must for them to get a better living.

New roads were built around Ohs to get better transports. Cultivated fields made free from " smaland stones". This can be recognized looking for the wall called Bohulta Stone Wall. The future looked good for Ohs Work.

The pig iron was not any more delivered to Karlshamn. Instead it was transported to Jönköping and from there to Motala and through Gota Channel exported world wide.

Nils Nilsson Aschan died 1888 and had no children to take over. Because of new refining processes for iron the small foundry of Ohs could not keep prices and delivery amount. The foundry was involved in the iron work death and was closed 1867. Nils Nilsson Aschan's widow gave Ohs away to a niece. She married a tailor in Gothenburg named Kling. He changed Ohs working direction when he wrecked the foundry and instead built and started diary farming. For this, without acceptance, he had to pay a fine of 75000 Rkd to the crown. 

Page 4



Stig Berglund

Horda gruppen


Sannfrid Berglund. Ref 49
Sannfrid Berglund. Ref 49
Railroad line. Ref. 1
Railroad line. Ref. 1
Ohs Brigadlok. Ref. 1
Ohs Brigadlok. Ref. 1
Hembyggda växelloket. Ref 1
Hembyggda växelloket. Ref 1
"Sputnik". Ref. 1
"Sputnik". Ref. 1
Sannfrid Berglund.
Now Ohs was in stagnation and nothing happened up to 1893 when Ohs was sold to Sannfrid Beglund born 1851 died 1916. He was an owner of a pulp mill in Habo.

There were large areas of forest owned by Ohs works and this was necessary for pulp mill production.

This sort of factory was quickly built and already 1894 it was in production. It was comparing to other factories of this kind a small unit, which later produced as best as 3000 ton of pulp a year.

In order to transport this production to the nearest railway there were only horse and wagon to be used. Sweden was in an intensive railway building period during this time. When the main railway lines were built and in this case came to connect Bor, Borås and Gothenburg it was clear that the transport of pulp from Ohs should be transported to Bor. This was the reason why a railway line was best to be built between Ohs and Bor. This work started 1907 and finished 1910.

In connection with the world fair in Paris 1889 a railway system was built for transporting visitor within the fair area. It was called Decauville. It had a track gauge of only 600 mm.

From Helsingborg a railway was built connecting Råå and Ramlösa 1890. 1906 this was changed to normal width, 1435 mm. One locomotive, several wagons and rails were sold to Ohs. These wagons could take 25 tons each. Very good compared to horse and wagon.

This railway line was used up to 1967 and was taken over 1970 by a veteran railway club.

Erik Berglund.
Sannfrid Berglund died 1916 and leadership was taken over by his son Erik, born 1884, died 1950. All work continued in good order and the small railway line was in a good shape.

Erik Berglund was interested in cars and specially in motorcycles. Besides his work at the factory, he sponsored short after WWII the building of a new heavy mc with the coming name Union.

Stig Berglund.
But Erik died 1950 and the lead of Ohs was taken over by his son Stig Berglund. He was engaged as dir ass. since 1944.
Selling of motorcycles was declining and Stig was advised from his lawyers to cancel the agreement. This became a catastrophe for this mc production. The contract was not in Ohs interest and the bad thing was that the mc alliance had not a long term contract.

New times.
The industrial development in Sweden at this time went through a change from being a local activity for workers to an economical transaction base without responsibility for the local area and working people. This was possible because of new heavy vehicles, better roads and building of railways. Excisting factories were joined to large units to give larger profits. In spite of this Ohs continued it's production up to 1960, when it was sold to Billerud, with their main office in Säffle and several factories and sawing mills. Billerud didn't bought it for the factory instead mainly they wanted the forest. This was of course a strategic buy to own this forest to have an exchange area against the same in county of Värmland, where Billerud had it's main activity. Their main purpose was to run Ohs factory till the exchange of  a forest area was made and then discontinue the factory as the basis was gone. The raw material.

Billerud got such an exchange 1967 with the Swedish forest service of an area in Värmland against one in Ohs. Ohs manor and factory was not involved in this business. The manor and some areas were later bought buy family Berglund. It is still owned, 2000, by the family. Here they work with forestry and farming.

The small sulfite factory was a petty cost for Billerud to lay down, because they normally worked with much larger pulp factories. But Stig Berglund negotiated the continuing of production as long as it gave a profit. He took over the job as factory leader. With this he succeeded till 1978. A fire in the factory made it too expensive to built up again.

Now the time was over for Ohs, except for a short time with a compensation industry. The Horda rubber group. Left was only the small veteran railroad, which is an interesting object to visit.

Page 5



Union story (in swedish)

MC Union at Eds mc museum. Ref. 1
MC Union at Eds mc museum. Ref. 1
Info union at Eds mc museum. Ref. 1
Info union at Eds mc museum. Ref. 1
Union at Arvika museum. Ref. 1
Union at Arvika museum. Ref. 1
Info Union at Arvika museum. Ref. 1
Info Union at Arvika museum. Ref. 1
About motorcycle Union.
About cycles Union is the most advanced motorcycle which have been build in Sweden and this happened in the end of 1940 just after the war. The effort lasted up to 1951. Union cease as owner when they didn't have assets enough from their granters of loans and when the leading person Erik Berglund from Ohs died and no one more could give guarantee for working money. The bank account was cancelled. May be it was short thinking to stop economical basis, when production was just to be started, and a positive result was supposed.

In Sweden Husqvarna had developed an engine from the original English Sturmy Archer. It became the Husqvarna 112 TV. It was supposed to be used by the Swedish army and the engine model was called M/42  and produced by Albin and frame by Monark. Birger Berggren who was very much involved in this and also knew all the best engineers like Mannerstedt, started the Union project for a heavy MC i Sweden, and the origin model was M/42.

The Albin engine was chosen and was updated by Mannerstedt and Gunnar Hagström. Mannerstedt was not fully connected in the project. Birger found a financier through his family contacts. It was Erik Berglund who was the owner of OHS old iron works and HABO sulfite factory 1894 -1978, large areas of forest, also their own power station several manors and OHS railway 1907 - 1967. The railway is a veteran one and is still working. This consortium had money enough to invest in interesting projects.

For working buildings the locals of Tiederman, near the border to Norway, was taken over.

This was because several aluminum parts were planned to be casted in Norway.

The plans was to produce a series of 300 units. All of them were sold in advance rather quickly and and time was in a bright scene for the company. Some minor misfortunes, which didn't reflect very much, was that Norway chose NATO for defense. The military machine was not current and also Sweden couldn't decide for a new M42.

What was much worse that the financer Erik Berglund died 1950 and his successor, his son Stig, as board leader, took the advice from his jurists not to put more money in Union.

This was the situation when the production was aimed to start and all the 300 ordered machines had to be produced. A bankruptcy became necessary, 1951, in spite the debt of the company was only 225000 Skr. A small sum today but rather large at the time. The quantity of cycles became only 42 and of them 4 sport cycles.

If Union have had a longer contract with OHS concern about money the company may have got a better start with the 300 ordered machines and may survived for say 10 years. But the future in the 60th and 70th for motorcycles was not too good for large motorcycles. Better times didn't come until 1980-90.

Birger Berggren who was the dedicated person for this project took this forced shut down very hard. His interest for motor and specially motorcycles continued. In this activity he was often seen in veteran rally competitions. He died later on the start grid in a veteran race in Hedemora.

Page 6




Brigadloco 2

Brigadloco 3

Emsfors loco

Mallet loco


Coal barn

Coal barn

Coal barn 2

Power station Ohs

Stone magazine


Ohsa railway

Ohsa railway 2

AboutRamlösa rail About HRRJ

German reserve

Feldheeresbahn. Ref. 49
Feldheeresbahn. Ref. 49
Transportation boogie. Ref. 1
Transportation boogie. Ref. 1
Ohs end station today. Ref. 1
Ohs end station today. Ref. 1
About Ohsa railway.
Ohs sulfit factory trusted on their transport wagon hauled by oxen, from 1894 till 1910. Fully 16 years. It is impressing that they succeeded to transport so much pulp. First time most of it was transported to Lammhult to access Swedish main south line. One must remember that the factory also needed timber for the production. The farmer around had much to do with this.

The railroad between Bor, Borås and Gothenburg opened 1902. Now it became better to transport the production to Bor, as it was a connection station for the railway. The factory raised it's production and it was important with better transports.

In  Helsingborg there was a man Fredrik Posse, who was deeply involved in transports between Helsingborg - Råå - Ramlösa. 1889 showed on the world fair in Paris a local railway line for the fair visitors. Paul Decauville had constructed a system with rails, which was easy to build. It had a track gauge of 600 mm. This was build with locos from the Swiss constructor  Anatole Mallet. This system allowed small radii  for curves down to 100 m. These locos were known as Mallet locos. They were bought when the fair closed.

This line called HRRJ closed 1906 to be rebuild to normal track gauge. This was good for Ohs and one loco, wagons and rails were bought including turning tables. This loco got the name the French loco.

This railway from Ohs to Bor took 3 years to build. One horse railway was included from the steam saw from Tagel.

It was hard to build this railway as it was a high area between Ohs and Bor. There were also several level differences on the way.

Two stations must be build with a side rail so the transport could pull half of the number of wagons. The largest level differences was 41 m for 1000 m. The length of the railway to Bor became 14,769 km. Service and stores was arranged within the factory area.

It was time to renovate the French loco 1913 and to replace it one loco was hired from Orenstein & Koppel in Germany. This loco was of the same type a no 5 in Smedjebacken. It had only 2 pair of wheels. During WWI there was a demand of another loco which was bought 1918  from Vinninga close to Linköping. It had a track gauge of 891 and had to be rebuilt later to 600. It was called the Swedish loco. One Heeresfeldbahn loco of the type brigad was bought 1918. This type was used during the war for transports closed to the war front. This got the name the German loco. The Swedish loco was put away. The boiler was forced to be renovated for the German loco 1929 and as replacement another Brigad loco was bought from Bratteborg. 1948 an engine loco was bought and the German loco became reserve after some time, but later rebuilt 1952 to be used as a switch engine. One petrol engine was built in.

Today Ohsa railway has arranged that they have two Brigad locos. The second was bought from Emsfors and have the name Emsfors the first Brigad loco was one imported from Germany 1976 and called the new German loco.

More about Ohs.
There are more to be seen and written in Ohs. In the stone magazine there is a collected fair showing tools from different times and also an archive. The old farming clock is stored here. Don't forget to look at Bohulta stonewall. You can also study the old manor and the power station.

Ohs manor. Ref. 1
Ohs manor. Ref. 1

Other Car MC museums in this website

Adalen car museum
Arnolds_cars & odds ends
Arvika car mc museum
Assa car museum
AUDI Ingolstadt

Barnfind Halsingland
Barnfind Katrineholm
Brosarp Museistation
Bjorkenas mopedmuseum
Brooklands England
Beaulieu England
Bynanders Car MC
Car sport museum Karlskrona
Chaparral carmuseum
Duxford England
Dalén musem
Eds Motorcycle museum
Enoch Thulin Landskrona
Falkoping MC Museum
Foundries and mines
Garage round in Halsingland
Grangesberg Nostalgi
Grafors Collection
Grangesberg Locos
Hannover air museum
Hassleholm mil. vehicles
Holmgren VW collection
Haynes England
Hjorted Mopedmuseum
Harnosand carmuseum
Huskvarna museum
Ivar Car museum Hoting
Koping car museum
Krylbo-Norbergs rail
My Vehicles
Malmkoping mil. vehicle museum
Malmo Technical museum
Mercedes Benz
MC-Collection Sweden
MC museum Hedemora
Motala museum
Munktell museum
Outbordmuseum Varb.
Rydaholms Car Museum
Robot Museum Sweden
Regnsjo, SAF cars
Panzeranzer museum
ScaniaVabis museum
Sinsheim museum
Skokloster car museum
SSK Boxcar
Storvik Odds and Ends
Svedino car & airplane
Soderhamn Air Force
Sparreholm museum
Sagen Technical museum
Surahammar MC
Swedish Air force museum
Swedish submarines
Torsong MC museum
Torsby Car MC museum
Technical museum Helsinb
Technical museum Stockholm
Ullared carmuseum
Volvo Industrial museum

Other sites
Military service
My Heritage

Trainmuseum Sweden
Vasteras Airmuseum
Hagfors Industrimuseum
Karlskrona Marina

Bilder från följande ägare har använts i bjorns-story.se med vederbörligt tillstånd:
Referens 1: © Björn Bellander bjorn.bellander(at)telia.com
Referens 49: ©Wikipedia
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