Archive Imagery from the Hadeland Glassverk Factory

Putting together yesterday’s post on Andrew Geller and getting my hands on the vintage photographs was really exciting for me, it’s perhaps my favourite post I’ve put together here. So whilst I was in the process of compiling this I started thinking to myself, there must be so many archives out there with vintage photographs of other creative companies just waiting to be shared. I started thinking about all the factories here in England during the industrial revolution and what these would have looked like, and the processes they would have undertaken each day. Unfortunately many of these have since ceased to exist, but on my search I came across a glass factory in Norway that first began creating in 1762 and is still thriving today.

I got in contact with the good people at Hadeland Glassverk and they were very accommodating offering me access to this fantastic series of photographs which highlights the factory in full flow from the perspective of a fly on the wall. I love the candid approach these have, exactly the kind of honest documentation I was looking for, it really shows the history behind the company. Linda the kind lady that spoke to me explained that despite the passing of time for the most part the factory still operates using the same procedures as we see in these photos. They’ve just had a long time to perfect these techniques and hand them down to generation upon generation. Today they employ around 140 people at the glassworks and each year their visitor centre entices over half a million individuals from all over the world.

Their original production was for the majority centred around bottles, chemist jars, medicine bottles and items of household glass. It wasn’t until Ole Chr. Berg took charge of Hadeland in 1852 that the company began to refine itself and condense the product line down to produce smaller scale items that were useful to all. Appealing to a larger market they took great influence upon design from elsewhere in Europe, often replicating the designs of independents in larger quantities. By the 1920’s the factory had finished experimenting with trends elsewhere and began to develop it’s own designs, something which has stayed with the company today and can be seen in the collections they currently create. I didn’t want to highlight any of their creations here (except the top image) because I felt it was best if you made your own way across and had a look for yourself. I trust you won’t be disappointed with what you find however, especially if you enjoy this set of photography below – why not go and see what you can find.

www.hadeland-glassverk.no