At a time of technical expansion and a high demand for something new, four ingenious minds came to simplify everyday life to this day, 70 years later. Who were they?
It’s 1948 and Arne Lydmar, the fast thinking entrepreneur, trained in electrical engineering, good with logic and numbers and said to be impossible to beat at cards, has just left IBM. His engineering firm Elfa has been registered and piles of mail-order catalogs, that his wife Britta helped him make, now occupy the kitchen table. 64 pages of “Everything between antenna and earth”.
In the same place and at the same time is Nils Strinning, Britta Lydmar’s enterprising cousin. He has just designed an ingenious dish stand made of steel wire. Seeing potential in Strinning’s idea, Arne Lydmar accepts to manufacture it and he does not think it’s a problem that dish stands are not quite Elfa’s core business.
Elfa’s sales manager has a brother, Björn Hoff, working at Osterman’s, Sweden’s largest car reseller at the time. Would he accept to take on a responsibility he did not have a clue about? He does. Björn learns how to weld and creates all the machines needed to manufacture the products. He creates Elfa’s first factory, designing all the products.
The same year in another part of Stockholm, Birger Sparring has just filed a US patent application for his invention in the wall band system. The drawing is far from new. He started his business already 15 years ago. All his European patents are based on it.