Carl Viktor Heljestrand of Eskilstuna

- The manufacturing of knifves and corkscrews


Carl Viktor Heljestrand was born 1816 in Eskilstuna, Sweden. His father had a smithy shop developed into a precision engineering workshop in 1810.

 

Carl Viktor worked in the shop until 1843. He then received a scholarship by the Technological institute in Stockholm to learn necessary skills for producing precision products by that time of standards. He obtained employment in a knife factory in Sheffield and stayed there for two years before returning to Sweden.

 

Back in Sweden he started producing scissors, table forks and razor knives. He frequently went back to England to improve his skills and achieved as a whitesmithery success and recognition as a top of the line brand both inside and outside Sweden.

 

The company was famous for razor blades and whitesmithery items, but they also made corkscrews. The Heljestrand brand entered the Philadelphia exhibition 1876 and the exhibition was a successful event for the company displaying both razor knives and corkscrews. The exhibition was the launch of the Heljestrand brand internationally.

 

Traditionally, Heljestrand produced only the worm which could be fitted and attached to any handle. This was the most common approach. However, the Heljestrand Company also made various models of corkscrews often as a copy of an English patent or registered design.

 

Many corkscrews manufactured by Heljestrand are similar to the William Dray 1847 registered design T screw with replaceable worm. Although, it was more appropriate to produce the worm separately, Heljestrand introduced the idea to replace the actual worm and markeded the CS as a kit with replaceable worms.

 

Heljestrand also made a sliding frame corkscrew very similar to the Chinnock 1862 US and UK patented model. Clearly, Heljestrand introduced British models and designs into the Swedish marketplace.

 

A special super rare example of a Heljestrand with a replacable Dray like mechanism.

A traditional Heljestrand with replacable worm. Unmarked handle. Common piece.

Heljestrand VS Chinnock. Both are sliding frames but the Heljestrand is a half pipe design. The Heljestrand to the left. The Heljestrand is extremely super rare.

Carl Viktor Heljestrand developed a chest decease and died 1861 only 45 years old. His company survived until 1980 when it went bankrupt due to severe competition in the razor blade market. All equipment ended up in Tanzania, Africa as disposable razor blade manufacturers started to dominate the market.

 

However, the corkscrews made by Heljestrand are a significant part of the Swedish industrial history and still very much present. Carl Viktor Heljestrand is probably the most prominent corkscrew manufacturer of Sweden during the industrial era. He became one of the most appreciated razor blade manufacturers of the world. His corkscrews are also very advanced and are collectors items around the world who appreciate his productions.