Swedish inventions

Swedish inventions are novel ideas and machines that have been pioneered in Sweden.

In the 18th century Sweden's scientific revolution took off. Previously, technical progress had mainly come from professionals who had immigrated from mainland Europe. In 1739, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was founded, with people such as Carolus Linnaeus and Anders Celsius as early members.

Sweden has a total of 33523 patents as of 2007 according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and only ten other countries have more patents than Sweden. [Patents By Country, State, and Year - All Patent Types(December 2007) [http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/cst_all.htm] ]


* Christopher Polhem (1661-1751) was a Swedish scientist, inventor and industrialist. He made significant contributions to the economic and industrial development of Sweden, particularly mining. He reinvented the Cardan joint under the name of "Polhem knot" (Polhemknut) independently of Gerolamo Cardano, the original inventor. His greatest achievement was an automated factory powered entirely by water; automation was very unusual at the time.


* Anders Celsius (1701–44) was an astronomer and mathematician most famous for inventing the 100-point thermometer scale, widely used across the world.

* Sven Åderman is a Swedish inventor who created a musket capable of firing more rapidly than conventional weaponry of the late 17th century. This new musket was first used in the wars of King Karl XII. For his efforts King Frederick I of Sweden bestowed upon him the estate of Halltorps in the year 1723 ["Halltorps Gastgiveri Description", Halltorps Gasgiveri, Borgholm (2004)] .

* Per Georg Scheutz (1785-1873) was a 19th-century Swedish lawyer, translator, and inventor, who is best known for his pioneering work in computer technology. He is most known for his inventions; the best known of these is the Scheutzian calculation engine, invented in 1837 and finalized in 1843.

* Jonas Lidströmer (1755-1808), was a Swedish inventor and officer in the Swedish navy. He is behind a large number of mechanical devices and innovations, such as steel grinderies, chip docks, compasses etc. [P.O. Nyström, Åminnelse-tal öfver Chefen för Kongl. örlogsflottans Mekaniska Stat, öfverstelöjtnanten och Riddaren av Kongl. Wasa Orden, Herr Jonas Lidströmer, Carlskrona, 1820. ]

* Gustaf Erik Pasch (1788–1862) invented the safety match.

* Martin von Wahrendorff (1789–1861) was a Swedish diplomat and inventor. In 1837 Wahrendorff applied for patent on a new breech mechanism, later known as the Wahrendorff breech. The first breech loaded Wahrendorff gun was manufactured at Åker in 1840.


From the 1870s, engineering companies were created at an unmatched rate and engineers became heroes of the age. Many of the companies founded by early pioneers are still internationally familiar.

* Jonas Offrell (1803 - 1863) was a Swedish priest who developed a revolver at the same time and independently of Samuel Colt.

* Martin Wiberg (1826-1905) is known as a computer pioneer for his 1875 invention of a machine the size of a sewing machine that could print logarithmic tables. Apart from this invention, Wiberg invented numerous other devices and gadgets, among these a cream separator and a pulse jet engine.

* Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) invented dynamite and instituted the Nobel Prizes.

* Helge Palmcrantz (1842-1880), Swedish inventor and industrialist. In 1873 Palmcrantz patented the multi-barrel, lever-actuated, machine gun that later would be known as the Nordenfelt machine-gun.

* Willgodt Theophil Odhner (1845-1905) was a Swedish mechanic and inventor of the Odhner arithmometer, a mechanical calculator.

* Gustaf de Laval (1845-1913) was a Swedish engineer and inventor who made important contributions to the design of steam turbines and dairy machinery.

* Lars Magnus Ericsson (1846-1926) started the company bearing his name, Ericsson, still one of the largest telecom companies in the world.

* Jonas Wenström was an early pioneer in alternating current and is along with Tesla credited as one of the inventors of the three-phase electrical system.

* Johan Petter Johansson (1853–1943) built and patented the adjustable spanner in 1892. Gustaf de Laval’s (1845–1913) most famous invention was the milk-cream separator. In 1883 he and others founded AB Separator (later Alfa Laval). He obtained over 100 patents in total.

* Carl Rickard Nyberg (1858–1939), inventor of the blowtorch. After Primus started producing blowtorches he also decided to make paraffin oil/kerosene cookers. The first model, called "Viktoria", wasn't very successful, but the later "Svea" did better. Nyberg also worked on many other inventions, for instance steam engines, aeroplanes, boat propellers and various other machines. He was most famous as an aviation pioneer and he became known as "Flyg-Nyberg". From 1897 and onward, outside his home in Lidingö he built and tested his Flugan (The Fly).

* Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist (1862-1931) was a Swedish inventor. He designed the first sootless kerosene stove, operated by compressed air.

* Gustaf Dalén (1869-1937) founded AGA, and received the Nobel Prize for his sun valve.

* Birger Ljungström (1872-1948) invented and designed a bicycle that had a free wheel and a rear-wheel brake (still the most common type in Sweden). His first prototype, completed in 1892, was later mass-produced under the name Svea. He and his brother Fredrik Ljungström (1875-1964) invented high-pressure steam boilers and a new type of steam turbine, the Ljungström turbine (patented in 1894). Other important inventions were the turbine-powered locomotive and the air preheater.

* Sven Gustaf Wingqvist (1876-1953) was a Swedish engineer, inventor and industrialist, and one of the founders of Svenska Kullagerfabriken (S.K.F.), one of the world's leading ball- and roller bearing makers. Sven Wingqvist invented the multi-row self-aligning radial ball bearing in 1907.

* Hans von Kantzow (born 1887) is known to have invented the steel alloy Kanthal. In 1931 "AB Kanthal" was founded for the exploitation of the invention.

* One of John Ericsson's (1803–89) most important inventions was ship propellers. Ericsson became widely famous when he built the “Monitor”, an armoured battleship that in 1862 triumphed over the Confederate States’ “Merrimac” in an American Civil War sea battle.

* Theodor Svedberg (1884-1971) invented the ultracentrifugation method for determination of molecular weights in 1924.

* Anders Knutsson Ångström, (1888-1981), was a Swedish physicist and meteorologist who was known primarily for his contributions to the field of atmospheric radiation. He is credited with the invention of the pyranometer, the first device to accurately measure direct and indirect solar radiation. [cite news
title=Dim Sun Global dimming? Global warming? What's with the globe, anyway?
author=Kip Keen
publisher=Grist Magazine

* Boris Hagelin (1892-1983) was a Swedish businessman and inventor of encryption machines.

* Carl Munters (1897-1989), Swedish inventor, most known for inventing the gas absorption refrigerator. After inventing the foam plastic he started his own company and developed, among other things, new insulation materials, air conditioners and dehumidification devices. At his death, Munters had over a thousand patents.


* Arne Asplund (1903–1993) was inventor of the Defibrator pulping refiner and the defibrator-method (also called Asplund-method) for pulping wooden chips.

* Oscar Kjellberg was a Swedish inventor and industrialist. Founder of ESAB, in 1904, and Kjellberg Finsterwalde, in 1922. He invented the coated electrode used in manual metal arc welding (Swedish Patent: 27152, June 29 1907), by dipping a bare iron wire in a thick mixture of carbonates and silicates. His pioneering of covered electrode development paved the road during the next twenty years in the research of reliable flux coated electrodes.

* Nils Alwall (1904-1986), a Swedish professor was a pioneer in hemodialysis and the inventor of one of the first practical dialysis machines. Alwall pioneered the technique of ultrafiltration and introduced the principle of hemofiltration.Cite web|url=http://www.hdcn.com/symplund.htm|title= Nordiska Njurdagar (Nordic Nephrology Days) |accessyear=2007|accessmonthday=October 3|publisher=Hypertension, Dialysis, and Clinical Nephrology|year=1997|author=Hypertension, Dialysis, and Clinical Nephrology|language=English] Cite web|url=http://www.hdcn.com/symp/lund/dauglund.htm|title=Nils Alwall Lecture|accessyear=2007|accessmonthday=October 3|publisher=Hypertension, Dialysis, and Clinical Nephrology|year=1997|author=Nils Alwall|language=English] Cite web|url=http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2000/carlsson-autobio.html|title=Arvid Carlsson, The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2000|accessyear=2007|accessmonthday=October 3|publisher=Nobel Foundation|year=2000|author=Arvid Carlsson|language=English] Alwall is referred to as the "father of extracorporeal blood treatment."Cite web|url=http://www.bio-pro.de/en/region/rhein/meldungen/02899/index.html|title= Nils Alwall Prize 2006 awarded to scientist at the Medical Hospital in Heidelberg|accessyear=2007|accessmonthday=October 3|publisher=The Biotech/Life Sciences Portal|year=2006|author=BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg|language=English]

* Austria's Carl Hellmuth Hertz (1915—80) began research on ultrasound in medical examinations in the early 1950 , thereby becoming known throughout the world. A Swedish physician, Inge Edler (b. 1911) told Hertz that he wanted to devise a non-invasive method for examining the heart. Echocardiography has revolutionized cardiovascular diagnostics. In 1977 Hertz and Edler received the American equivalent of the Nobel Prize in medicine, the Lasker Prize. The use of ultrasound in medical diagnostics is increasing sharply in a number of different fields.

* Harry Roberts is the co-inventor of julmust and founder of Roberts AB in Örebro, Sweden. After studying chemistry in Germany during the late 19th century he invented the soft drink together with his father Robert Roberts.

* Nils Bohlin (1920-2002) was a Swedish inventor who invented the three-point safety belt while working at Volvo.

* Arvid Gerhard Damm (died 1927) was a Swedish engineer and inventor. He designed a number of cipher machines, and was one of the early inventors of the wired rotor principle for machine encipherment. His company, AB Cryptograph, was a predecessor of Crypto AG.

* René Malaise (1892-1978) was a Swedish entomologist, explorer and art collector who is mostly known for his invention of the Malaise trap and his systematic collection of thousands of insects.

* Although not initially invented by a Swede the design of the zipper was improved upon and patented by two Swedish-Americans, Peter Aronsson and Gideon Sundbäck.

* Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters in 1922, invented the absorption Refrigerator while they were still students at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. It became a worldwide success and was commercialized by Electrolux.

* Sven Wingquist (1876–1953) invented the spherical bearing in 1907. He founded a global company, SKF (AB Svenska Kullagerfabriken), still the world’s leading producer of industrial bearings.

* Tetra Pak (1951) is an invention for storing, packaging and distributing liquid foodstuffs, for example, milk and juice. Erik Wallenberg (1915–99) was the main inventor, while businessman Ruben Rausing (1895–1983) developed and produced it. (See box). Several new package types have been added. The most ubiquitous is the Tetra Brik (1969).

* Håkan Lans (born 1947) is recognised as one of Sweden’s most outstanding inventors. Among his inventions is the digitizer, the predecessor of the computer mouse. He is also credited with the further development of the satellite-guided Global Positioning System (GPS) into the Automatic Identification System (AIS). Lans’s system has become world standard for shipping and civil aviation.

* In the 1990s, an ABB team under Mats Leijon developed a new generator, the Power Former, producing high-tension current directly to the network without transformer links.

* Arne Tiselius (1902–71) used electrophoresis in the 1940s to analyse various proteins. Tiselius’s work has been followed by other similar methods. All are important for medical and biological research. Tiselius received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1948.

* Helge Palmcrantz (1842-1880), Swedish inventor and industrialist. In 1873 Palmcrantz patented the multi-barrel, lever-actuated, machine gun that later would be known as the Nordenfelt machine-gun.

* In 1958, Rune Elmqvist developed a small battery-powered pacemaker that can be inserted under the skin of a heart patient. It produces electrical impulses that help the heart muscle work normally. In the same year, Åke Senning at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm carried out the world’s first pacemaker operation.

* Peter Nordin (born 1965) is a Swedish computer scientist who has contributed to artificial intelligence, automatically generated computer programming, machine learning, and evolutionary robotics. He is currently (as of 2007) VP of Research at Institute of Robotics in Scandinavia AB (iRobis).

* In 1968, Lars Leksell (1907-86) invented the gamma knife for brain surgery. The ‘knife’ uses concentrated gamma radiation on the tumour or malformation. The method is bloodless and patients can often leave hospital on the day of the operation. The transmission of high voltage direct current, HVDC, is a method developed at ASEA (now ABB) under Uno Lamm(1904–89). ABB remains one of the leading makers of HVDC technology, now also used for terrain cable. [http://www.sweden.se/templates/cs/FactSheet____15878.aspx]

* Losec, an ulcer medicine, was the world's best-selling drug in the 1990s and was developed by AstraZeneca.

The traditional engineering industry is still a major source of Swedish inventions, but pharmaceuticals, electronics and other high-tech industries are gaining ground. A large portion of the Swedish economy is to this day based on the export of technical inventions, and many large multinational corporations from Sweden have their origins in the ingenuity of Swedish inventors.cite web
url = http://www.sweden.se/upload/Sweden_se/english/factsheets/SI/SI_FS91e_Swedish_inventions_and_discoveries/Swedish_inventions_and_discoveries_FS91e_Hires.pdf
title = Swedish inventions and discoveries
accessdate = 2007-10-28
year = 2007
month = January
work = Fact Sheet FS 91 e
publisher = Swedish Institute


External links

* [http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=21865 Design: the Swedish way]
* [http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/mirror2/SI/security/inventio.html Swedish inventions and discoveries]
* [http://www.sweden.se/templates/cs/FactSheet____15878.aspx Swedish inventions]

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