gfx The shop was built as an extension of the house in 1843. The shelves and the counter have not been changed since then. From 1847 and a few years on the local post office was here too. In the shop like this customers could buy all kind of goods, Both for household, fishing or farming. The items that are exhibited Here today date mostly from the first part of our own century. Among the goods are some war-time ( 1940-1945 ) products made From unusual materials. Like shoes made out of paper and fish skin, Or a lady’s handbag made out of paper.



gfx This clinic has belonged to Kristian Midbøe. He started his practice as a dentist in Skudeneshavn in 1928, And most of the inventory here date from the same time. Making false teeth was Mr.Midbøes speciality, And some of his equipment for that purpose is also exhibited.

The drill Midbøe used was an electric one. In earlier times dentists` drills were operated via a foot-pedal. One of those old drills ( from ca. 1900 ) can be seen here, reminding us That going to the dentist’s once could be a very painful experience.



The sailing ships used flags to signal to other vessels. In foggy weather these flag-signals were of no use. In 1879 a law made the use of mechanical foghorns mandatory On all ships with a gross weight of more than 25 tons. The existing foghorns were of low quality however.

gfx This inspired captain O.C.Hansen from Skudeneshavn to invent An improved model. He took out patent on his foghorn and started manufacturing in 1881. The horn works by the same principal as an organ. A crank-handle is connected to two leather-bellows. These will pump air into a third bellow from which the air goes out Through the horn. The sound is quite characteristic ( try it yourself! ) Most of the foghorns that were made were of small size like those Shown here. But larger models measuring up to 1,5 meters of height were also produced.

In the foghorns factory 7-8 men were employed at the beginning of our century. Craftsmen from Skudeneshavn, the blacksmith and coppersmith a.o. made parts for the foghorn manufacturing. Also counting the suppliers, some 30 people were involved in the Foghorn-production at its peak.

The Hansa-foghorn (as it was nicknamed ) was also a success abroad. Navies and lighthouse keepers in far range of countries were among the customers. Besides its original purpose, the foghorn has also been used to warn of sandstorms in Sahara, to call farm-workers in Canada and Australia in from fields and to warn of fire in South-Africa.

When O.C.Hansen sold his factory in 1917, he had produced some 33.000 foghorns. He had also received several golden medals for his products. The new owners produced foghorns until 1960, when the factory finally got closed down.



gfx The coppersmith & tin-man’s workshop has belonged to the Ellingsen-family of Skudeneshavn. Rasmus Ellingsen ( b. 1857 ) Started as a coppersmith in 1878. His son, Ragnvald ( b.1884 ) took over the business in 1910. He worked as a coppersmith and a tin-man Until 1954. The Ellingsens made the horns for foghorn production, and they also mended broken foghorns. Among their other products were : lanterns, cooking vessels, roof-gutters, zinc-tubs and stencils for marking barrels.



The blacksmith’s tools were donated to the museum by Per Midbøe ( 1922-1993 ) He worked as a blacksmith in Skudeneshavn until 1998. His forge was in the basement of his house in Søragadå 4. It was his uncle, Georg Midbøe, who started this forge in 1916. Among the things they made were cranks for the foghorns and various Products for fishermen and farmers.



gfx We all know that the cobbler is not supposed to go beyond his last. Here are the actual last. Wooden ones that the shoemaker used for shaping the shoes. He measured the foot of his customer, and shaped a pre-made last until it got the right size. The machine that is placed to the right of the door, was used for sewing the soles onto the leather. In the corner is a polishing machine used for giving the shoes a finishing touch. The large boots to the right were used by the fishermen. The workshop has belonged to Fridtjof Skogland of Kopervik.



In this workshop we have a large collection of planes, which have Been used for making fine profiles on wooden lists. The planes have belonged to tow brothers named Jakobsen. They worked as house-carpenters in Skudeneshavn and the Surrounding area in the mid 1880s. Among their buildings are the churches at Falnes, Kopervik and Nedstrand, as well as many of the houses here in Skudeneshavn.



gfx In the 1860s the export of herring from Skudeneshavn counted more than 38.000 barrels in the best years. This meant that the cooper’s ( barrel-maker’s ) work was the most important craft in town. The cooper used pines for making the barrel staves. The hoops, which keep the barrels together, were originally made from hazel or sallow, but when iron got cheaper they started using that instead.



The rich herring-fisheries provided the economic foundation for the town of Skudeneshavn in the century. Large quanta’s of herring was exported from here, so the town needed a large fleet. The Baltic towns were the most important trading partners. At the most ( 1870 ), 75 ships belonged to this small town.



gfxThe schooner brig «Hans Olsen» of Skudeneshavn was built in 1973. It journeyed all over the world, but it stroke ground and sank by Bokn (east of Karmøy) in 1905. The wreckage is still to be found there.

The map shows the ship’s journeys from may 1877 to January 1878. It took herring to Pernau, Estonia, corn from there to the Netherlands. It went north to Arkangelsk to take a cargo of timber to France. From Cette in the south of Franc, It went to the south of France, it took salt back to Karmøy. The salt would be used for salting more herring for export.

«Hans Olsen» had a crew of 8 men, including captain M.P.Midbøe.



gfx An average sailing ship would have a crew of ca. 8-10 men. The crew had their own room in front of the mast. The oldest of the sailors had the privilege of first choose his berth. The sailor kept his bedding in a canvas sack. In the small trunk he kept all his other personal belongings, His clothes, book, a knife, some money and perhaps a watch. The sailor’s chests were used for sitting on when eating, An A.B. (able bodied seaman) would also get his own stool.

The photos show the crew on 5 of the Skudeneshavn ships, As well as 2 from Haugesund.



On exhibit here are some examples of sailors` spare timework. The large picture frames are made from cigar boxes and chewing-tobacco sticks, Material that normally would have been waste. Another popular activity was to make small models of sailing ships and put them Into empty bottles. Those shown here were made by Halvor Halvorsen from Visnes (on North-Karmøy).



gfx From the 1870s and onwards Karmøy suffered severe economic problems. The herring fisheries failed and the sailing fleet had difficulties competing with the new steam-vessels. Many of the island’s inhabitants had to move and find a new living elsewhere.

For most of them America became the solution. In the period 1880-1915, 5731 people emigrated. The number equals one fourth (1/4) of the total population in those years.

In many families the husband went over first, and his wife and children would follow later. This lady is waiting for the steamer from the Scandinavian-American line. It will take her from Kristiansand to New York, To a better life?



In America people from Karmøy had their own Immigrant Society ( «Karmøylaget») Which met at annual gatherings. We have photos from such occasions in Willmar, Minnesota and in Canton, South Dakota in 1913. The large one above is from a gathering of immigrant societies from all over Rogaland In Willmar in 1915.

Many of the Norwegian immigrants became farmers on the prairie. Pictures from Karmøy-settlers farms.


TWO GUNS (next to the model Skudeneshavn 1918)

gfx The two guns have got the percussion lock ignition system. The system is based on the detonation of an explosive when struck sharply. It was invented in 1805, and became used in Norway from ca. 1820.

The uniform dates from 1914. It has belonged to a second lieutenant in the infantry. The belt and hat comes from a military Academy uniform.



gfx You have now come from the side wing of Mælandsgården and over in the main part of the building. Until 1960 this was the home of the merchant-family Christensen-Mæland. The different rooms have been furnished to look as they did when they were inhabited.

The part of the building that this room belongs to was built in 1843. The furniture that is here today is mostly from the 1920s, while the textiles are from the late century. On the bed are coverlid (crochet-work), a nightgown and a bag for keeping the nightgowns in. A bib for breast-feeding is placed in the cradle.

By the door there is an iron-stove made at Ulefoss in Telemark. Note that there are small cooking plates for each section. The wallpapers here are the only originals ones preserved in Mælandsgården. They have been painted (from a salon) and not printed like the wallpaper-copies In the other rooms.



gfx A collection of toys, school-material, games and childrens`books. The porcelain (china) doll in the showcase is from the 1860s. It is mechanical and will walk the floor when winded up.

On the school-desk there is an inkstand, a blackboard with a slate pencil and Some wooden pencil-boxes. The ones with tow rooms were considered the finest. On the wall are plates with pictures illustrating the months of the year.



gfx You have now entered the oldest part of the building (built 1818) Note how the floor slants from one end of the room to another. This small camber might have been used by servants or lodgers.

A hot-water tank was used for warming up the bed.



gfx This is the largest bedroom in the oldest part of the building.

On the chest of drawer are a few of the husband’s belongings, Some razors with a grinding strap and a box of collars.

By the oven is a box for keeping fuel in. On Karmøy this normally meant peat.



gfx The large contrivance, which dominates the corridor, is a mangle. It was used for rolling cloth. The textiles were rolled around the sticks Which lie under the wagon, then the wagon was moved to and from Make the cloth nice and flat. The stones are there to give the wagon Enough weight. One could also place a couple of kids in the wagon. Then they would get a nice ride out of it, as well as contributing to the work.



gfx The maid’s chamber is the smallest room in the house. She did not have much space of her own, but at least it was better than nothing. In many houses the maid would have to sleep on a bench in the kitchen.



gfx The furniture in this room dates from approximately 1915. Above the cupboard, there is a photo of the family to whom the things Originally belonged ( Elnora & Haskin Syre )

The rocking chair in the corner is from America. This type of chairs with much viking-inspired carvings, Were very popular among norwegian immigrants in the USA.

The gramophone, also American, is from the 1920s.

In this period, placing lots of trinkets around in the room (like here) Was very popular.



When this building was new (1818 ), all cooking was done in the open fireplace. After a couple of decades, the wood- or peat fired stove was installed. This was later supplied with cooking apparatus. In 1921 one got electricity in Skudeneshavn, and the eletric oven dates from the same period.

The kitchen is painted in pink. Pink and blue used to be the most popular colours for kitchens. The reason is said to be that those paints contained cobalt pigments, Which again holds small quanta of arsenic. The small quanta of poisonous vapour from the wall, was enough to keep flies and other insects away from the room.

Do also notice the fine woodcarvings on the lists in the ceiling.



gfx The clock and some of the furniture in this room are made by the Dale Brothers. They worked as cabinet-makers and clockmakers in Skudenes in the first half of the 1800s. The youngest of the three, Didrik, was imprisoned in England during the Napoleonic wars. It is told that he learnt the clockmakers craft in the prison.

Several of the objects here have been bought abroad and brought to Skudeneshavn in the sailing-ship period. The chandeliers are probably from southern Europe. From Riga ( in present-day Latvia) comes the silver on the dining table And the punch-set at the buffet.

The stove comes from the former Falnes church, ( Alvaberg ), which was demolished In 1851. ( Skudeneshavn belongs to Falnes parish. ) Notice how the construction of the stove ensures that they would get as much Heat as possible from the smoke before it went up the chimney.

When filming the TV-series «Skipper Worse» ( based on the famous Norwegian Author Alexander Kielland`s books ), some of the interior-scenes Were shot in this room.



The office interior dates from the first decades of the 1900s. When using the highest desk, the clerk would have to stand or use the tall stool. At the top of that desk is an early calculator.

The small typewriter on the other desk is one of the earliest. Using it would demand quite strong fingers. The other machine on that desk is a check-writer.



Lobster fishing in Skudeneshavn dates back to the century, when English and Dutch buyers came here. The local lobster fishing took place in springtime. Around 1930 the fishermen could receive 1 NOK pr. lobster. This was a very good price considering that a workers wages in those days were only 2-3 NOK a day.

Crab fishing was also popular, mainly because crabmeat was good fish-bait. In the early 1900s, the canning industry in Stavanger made commercial crab fishing possible. The price paid then was 0,12-0,13 NOK pr. crabs.



Salting was done during fisheries in February/March. The herring was hoisted into the warehouses in large tubs. The workers ( mostly women ) First gutted the fish. Special nippers were used ( «ganetang» and «nippetang» as exhibited here )

The salting was done by putting layers of herring and layers of salt alternately into barrels. When marking the barrel for export the workers used stencils which they painted tar over.

To make the work of quicker, one stopped salting directly into the barrels around 1930. Instead the salting was done in wheelbarrows from which the salted herring got tipped into the large concrete basins on the ground floor. After a month or two, it was packed in barrels and exported. The herring-export of Skudeneshavn went mostly to the Baltic area. Once there were more than 100 salting-houses like this around the harbour.



After a dramatic rescue of a German ship in 1925 a life-saving station was established in Skudeneshavn.

It worked like this: With the harpoon gun a rescue-line was shot over To the wrecked ship. This made it possible to get a thick hawser pulled on board. When the hawser was fastened to the ship, the breeches buoy ( saving-basked ) Could now pull themselves in safety as shown on one of the exhibited photographs. This station was in use until 1947, and it was involved in the saving of 115 human lives.



The sailmakerfabricated and assembled canvas articles used on ships, Such as sails, awnings, covers and so on. He kept his needles in a horn containing tallow or grease, This kept them from rusting and made them easier to use. The thread used for sewing was imbrued with bees` wax. Instead of using a tumble, he wore a special glove, a sailmaker`s palm To force the needle thought the canvas.

The sail maker also manufactured canvas-buckets. Such buckets filled with water were kept in every house in the Village of Skudeneshavn in case of fire.

Our man is working on sails for a 3-masted Schooner. His draft is a detailed copy of the original one from 1909



A block is mechanical contrivance consisting of one or more grooved Pulleys mounted in a casting or shell fitted with a hook, Eye or strap by which it may be attached.

Blocks are used for transmitting power or changing the direction of Motion by means of a rope passing around the moveable pulleys. Many of the blocks used onboard ships are named after the ropes rove through them.

The following list is a block-maker’s survey of all the blocks needed For the rigging of a 3-masted schooner.



gfx In the 1870s he local herring fisheries failed, and many people from Skudeneshavn had to find other way of making a living. Going to Iceland to fish became one such solution. The Icelanders themselves were not very interested in herring, So it was possible for foreigners to get licence to fish there.

The early Iceland-fisheries were done with land-based nets. But in the 1880s the drift nets were introduced. From ca. 1902 local boats went to Iceland every year. The picture shows one of them: the cutter «Pascal» It was built in France in 1921, and was first used for cod-fisheries On the New Foundland coast. In 1936 it was bought to Skudenes. «Pascal» measured more than 100 feet, and was one of the largest of the Iceland-fleet. The sail boom exhibited here has belonged to it.



For measuring speed at sea, the log reel ( «loggrull» ) was used. A log line is wounded around the reel. On the line there are knots With regular intervals. The line is allowed to run out in the sea While a 30 second sandglass is running out itself. By counting how many knots that of out by that time, They knew how many «knots» the ship was doing.

1 knot equals 1 nautical mile ( 6080 feet ) an hour.



The ship’s carpenter ( skipstømmermann ) was responsible for Repairing masts and yards, hatches and pumps a.s.o., And to do most kinds of other repairs needed on the ship.

The rigger’s responsibility was to install and maintain all gear And fittings of wire and fibre rope on the ship.



Careening means to cause a ship to lie over on one side for the Purpose of examine the underwater body on the opposite side, and of calking, repairing, cleaning, paying with pitch, or breaming it. Very large blocks ( «kjølhalingsblokker» ) were used for pulling the ship over.



To preserve the fishing nets and sails better, Some special methods of imbuing were used.

The process of barking was done like this: Bark from hardwood trees ( leaf-trees ) was boiled in a large cauldron ( like the one you see here ). Nets or sails were put into the decoction and thus got a characteristic brown-red colour.

Imbuing with bluestone was another method. Bluestone ( copper sulphate ) Is easily dissolved in water. Nets put into the «blåsteinskjer» containing the mixture will get a blue colour. In Skudenes nearly all-ordinary fishing nets were dyed blue, While the drift nets would be barked brown.



The exhibition shows the deck of a 38 feet fishing smack. Its contents are ( from left to right ):

  • Wheel house from smack «Sjølykt»
  • Barrel of oil for fuel
  • Side-roll
  • Capstan ( winch ) for taking the nets in
  • Mast ( not erected, due to lack of space )
  • Entrance to the crew’s room
  • Waterbarrell ( for drinking water )
  • Bow-roll



Museet i Mælandsgården, v/ Skudenes Historielag, N-4280 SKUDENESHAVN. Tlf. +47 52 84 54 60
Web: Tor Magne Johannessen, 20(C)04.

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