Nobel Museum in Karlskogs & Bofors Museum

Karlskoga is a town on the shores of Lake Möckeln near Örebro in the Swedish province of Värmland. It was one of the homes, in his later years, of Alfred Nobel (1833-96) creator of the modern explosives industry. Nobel was also the owner from 1894 of the nearby Bofors engineering works. He spent much of his early life in Russia where his father manufactured armaments for the Tsarist government. He began to develop nitroglycerine in 1859 but returned to Sweden in 1863, and subsequently created a multinational company with factories in Germany, Norway, Scotland and elsewhere. He continued experiments with explosives that culminated in the development of Ballistite or ‘smokeless powder’ from 1889. The Nobel Prizes were established by a testament that he wrote in Paris in 1895 which was registered for legal purposes in Karlskoga.

Björkborns Herrgård is the two-storey, ten-bay house in Karlskoga where Nobel spent the summer months of his final years, and where he carried out experiments in the laboratory which remains much as he left it. Visitors can take guided tours of the house, and can hear about its history in Nobel’s own words spoken by a wax effigy of the great scientist. Displays in the house illustrate the development of Nobel prizes and the achievements of some Nobel Laureates.

Some of the outbuildings at the rear of the house and adjacent area of the grounds are occupied by a museum of the Bofors company. It originated as an ironworks authorised by the government in 1646, whose products included bar iron sold for working elsewhere, agricultural tools and shovels made at the works forge, and castings made in its foundry. From the mid-nineteenth century Bofors began to produce parts for guns made by other manufacturers, such as the Finspång company, and soon began to produce its own guns. In 1873 a new company AB Boford-Gullspång was formed. The company became the dominant force in the economy of Karlskoga and gained a reputation for the benevolent way in which it treated its workers, providing housing for families, accommodation for old people, a day nursery, medical facilities and even holiday camps. In the twentieth century Bofors was most famous for its 40 mm anti-aircraft gun, extensively used by both sides in the Second World War.

Adjacent to Björkborns Herrgård is Fiffiga Huset, an interactive science centre for ‘children of all ages’.

Nobel Museum in Karlskogs & Bofors Museum
Nobelmuiseet i Karlskoga og Bofors Museet Björkborns Herrgård
Björkbornsvagen 10
69133 Karlskoga
+46 (0) 586 - 83494

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