- Glassworks, Glass manufacture
Hadeland Glassverk is without a doubt Norway's most important producer of table glassware since 1850. This stems from Hadeland's position in the Norwegian domestic market and its shared history with Christiania Glasmagasin over many years.
Hadeland Glassverk was founded as a bottle factory in 1762. This means that the glassworks produced utility items in brown and green glass, in contrast to the tableware products produced in clear glass by the glassworks at Nøstetangen and later Hurdal and Gjøvik. There were several glassworks in Norway producing utility products in coloured glass. Hadeland began producing clear glass in 1855, after the glassworks had been taken over by the three brothers Harald, Nils and Ole Berg three years earlier in 1852.
Twelve of each
Hadeland's first price list, or product catalogue, came out in 1856. From then on, new price lists were published on a regular basis, constantly offering new glassware models and products. The product assortment was at its largest around 1900. In addition to wine glasses and other drinking glasses, the glassworks produced bowls, dishes, serving platters and centrepieces as well as items that would seem more unusual to us today: glass sugar crushers, which were blunt glass rods used to crush the sugar in hot drinks, and piano castors, which were placed under the legs of a grand piano to protect the floor. The most important product, however, was wine glasses, which came in many different models. In addition, each stemware design came in many sizes, with special glasses for sherry, port, madeira, toddy, hock wine and soda water, to name a few. The ideal was to have 12 of each, or maybe 24 or 36 – the tables of the well-to-do was surely elaborately set!
Relationship with Christiania Glasmagasin
After the takeover in 1855, Hadeland Glassverk became a supplier of fine glasswares to Christiania Glasmagasin, which two years later opened a store at Jernbanetorget in Oslo. At this time, Hadeland Glassverk and Christiania Glasmagasin were part of the same company, which could trace its roots back to the establishment of the Norske Kompani (lit. ‘Norwegian Company’) in 1739 (see Nøstetangen glassverk). This means that the store we know today as Christiania Glasmagasin has long been the heart of a large company that included production at several glassworks, including window glass at Biri (until 1880), pressed glass and lamps at Høvik (from 1862) and window and household glass (including ‘Norgesglass’ jars for preserves) in Drammen (from 1893). In 1862, Christiania Glasmagasin's retail store moved to Stortorvet in Oslo. Glasmagasinet's design office was also located here, where the designers created models and decorations for production at Hadeland. The companies' joint history lasted until the 1980s, when the old company was dissolved and reorganised. Since then, Hadeland Glassverk has been a subsidiary of a larger conglomerate and an independent brand.
A leading design company
Ever since its beginnings in the 19th century, Hadeland Glassverk has always been a popular brand in the Norwegian market. The same can be said about the ceramics manufacturers Egersunds Fayancefabrik and Porsgrund Porselænsfabrik. Both Hadeland and Porsgrund are still popular brand names today.
Most of Hadeland's early glassware from the 19th century had anonymous designers. Several are also imitations of foreign glassware, often English and Swedish models. The first designer we know by name is Ragnvald Hansen, who was hired in 1882 and was active until the mid 1920s. Towards the end of Hansen's time came John Bothner, employed from 1912 to 1941. Both Hansen and Bothner created designs that were close to contemporary foreign models and often given Norwegian names. From 1928 to 1949 Sverre Pettersen made his mark on Hadeland's product range through a number of new designs in a rigid modernist style, and also served as artistic director. During Pettersen's tenure, Ståle Kyllingstad was also employed at the glassworks, from 1936 to 1946, and as artistic director from 1937. Kyllingstad produced a number of modern, clear-cut designs, and not least worked a great deal on art glass, which he decorated using techniques such as sandblasting. Among the postwar designers at Hadeland, Willy Johansson is one of the best known for his many designs and long service, 1947–1988. His father, Johan Wilhelm Johansson, was a glassblower at Hadeland. Among Willy Johansson's best known designs, Tangen (1958), Oslo (1969) and Peer Gynt (1971) are still popular to this day. Other designers of note are Arne Jon Jutrem, Severin Brørby and Maud Gjeruldsen Bugge.
In addition to the retail market, Hadeland Glassverk has supplied stemware to restaurants and hotels and produced bespoke designs for the Norwegian American Line shipping company, among others. Hadeland has made chandeliers for the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Norwegian National Opera in Bjørvika in Oslo. The glassworks at Jevnaker is still in operation and remains popular with visitors.
Ada Buch Polak, Glassboken. Oslo 1958 (2nd ed. 1974).
Inger-Marie Lie, Hadelandsglass 1850–1900. Oslo 1977.
Jens W. Berg, Hadelandsglass 1900–1950. Oslo 1996.
Rolv Petter Amdam, Tore Jørgen Hanisch and Ingvild Pharo, Vel blåst! Christiania Glasmagasin og norsk glassindustri 1739–1989. Oslo 1989.