Skaftekulla vagnfabrik

skaftekulla(1).jpgAbout the year of 1870 Oskar Jakobsson built a blacksmith and the pescents came to get shoes for their horses and their wagons repaired. The Vagnfabriken in Skaftekulla outside Västervik was a fact. In the year of 1899 Hjalmar Weitér came to the company that had grown to be a carpenters shop with coachbuilding. The labour force now hold 10 workers. Skaftekulla Vagnfabrik joined an exhibition in Norrköping 1906.skaftekulla(2).jpg It showed to be a smart decision as the orders came poring in. In 1914 Erik Andersson joined the company and the three leaders Oskar, Hjalmar and Erik ran the business until 1921 when Oskar Jakobsson past away. From there on the duo Andersson - Weiter took over the firm.

The first bodywork on a car chassis was built on a Ford 1923. At the end of the 20:s the company got Ostermans in Stockholm as a client, one of the best customers for the company. The first tipping stakebed was delivered in 1936 to Hjalmar Manfred, Hummelstad. A bit in to the 40:s Skaftekulla did repairs on wagons, wheels and made plows for the farmers.

Klemming Nilsson, who worked at Skaftekulla for 34 years, can tell us more about the manufacturing.

" We built bodyworks on the duettchassis for, among others, Televerket and Vattenfall. The cars for Vattenfall didn't have an ordinary stakebed, instead there was a box with a tarpaulin cover. Vans were built for meat transports and for bakeries. We fetched the chassis at Motala railway station and drove them as they were to Skaftekulla. We sat only on a wooden box, even during winter. I started at the factory in 1934 and at that time we didn't have any welding equippment. We took the galvanized metal and nailed it to the wooden frame. Then we put tin on the seams. In 1935 we got our first gas welding equippment. "

Along with the growth of the buisness the localities expanded. In the beginning of the 40:s the factory wanted to expand their localities even more. They than were forced to build the new building on the other side of the road. With the new building, which came with painting-, metal- and reassemblingparts, the labour force expanded to about 20 workers. In the beginning of the 40:s the buisness was rearranged to become a private limited company with many of the workers as part-owner. The manufacturing expanded to building bread-transporting vans for Karl Petterssons Bageri, Västervik and Asta Pettersson, Ankarsrum. Fish-transporting vans were delivered to Konsum and meat-transporting vans to Ö.A.F. When firebrigades were started in the communities around the country, Skaftekulla delivered firetrucks to Gamleby, Ankarsrum, Blackstad, Locknevi, Kristdala. They even got orders from Långsele in the northern parts of Sweden. Then came Second World War and the factory started to mount producer-gas generators for Söderlind & Nordenberg i Västervik. There was neither petrol nor tyres so the chassis were equipped with wooden ring on the rims. During these hard times small rack wagons for children were built to extend the offer.

From old protocols you can read about the buisness through decades of manufacturing.

- In the so called Slättvillan were 4 apartments and in june 1942 it was decided to increase the rent to 250 Svkr per year. Leftover firewood should be cut into wood suitable for producer-gas generators.

- In june 1943 the salary per hour was raised from 1 Svkr to 1.10 Svkr per hour.

- 1946 it was discussed whether to buy the real estate Grönäng or not, but the price of 16 000 Svkr was to high so no deal was made. The same year Carl Löfström was employed as foreman with an annual salary of 5 000 Svkr. It also was decided that all employees would receive free medical care.

- In 1947 it was decided to buy the electric welding equippment that the company had had for trial. The same year the share majority became in the posses of the family buisness Pauli Andersson with sons Folke and Torsten Andersson. In oktober -47 it was decided that the metalworkers would get two pair of pull-on trousers per year from the company. They also decided to buy a fan for shavings at the cost of 530 Svkr netto.
All employees got cofee at the morning of Lucia before work started.

- September 1949. Due to the high order intake it was decided to advertise for skilled coachbuilders. There were firetruck manufactured with from 2- to 15-seats cabins and truck cabins with sleeper equipped with two beds. Stakebeds were manufactured for all purposes, " style and quality at lowest cost ", as the commercial said. The labour force now were up to 30 workers.

- In 1951 a big fire burned down the red wooden building with its carpenters shop and wood supply. The insurance covered the damage and a new building was built in august the same year. It was placed on the same side as the white building.

- At the shareholders' meeting in april 1954 the chairleader mentioned the loss of Hjalmar Weiter, the companies founder.

- In 1955 it was decided to install a fan in the painting shop following the demands of the working inspection.

Published 2003-02-04

Up to this date the bodywork was made in wood with metal cover, but at the end of the 50:s there was a law that demand pressed metal pieces of the body. This made it unprofitable for Skaftekulla to build only bodyworks. They therefore decided to manufacture joinery. To rearrange the buisness would cost a lot of money and a loan was asked for at Hallingeberg community. The loan was denied. The company manufactured upholstery for kitchens, doors and windows and so called ' english doors '.

From the middle of the 60:s Skaftekulla Vagnfabrik has gone through a lot of changes. Until 1969 the company was owned by K. P. Frisk, Gamleby who run the buisness with similar offer as before. In the 70:s the buisness was put to rest and all the inventories were sold at an auktion. For some years the buildings were rented by the social care for holding beds, owens and other things needed for a field hospital in case of war. In the summer of 1977 Skaftekulla Vagnfabrik got a new owner. It was Börje och Roy Andersson Brabo-hus AB who manufactured houses for easy mounting. In the fall of -78 the company was taken over by Villy Retzman who ran a firm of contractors. In the building was also the blacksmtih Kay Jönsson who made anchor that was sold all over Europe. The factorybuilding still remain.

Information about Skaftekulla Vagnfabrik is collected from the text written by Karin Andersson in the book Hallingebergsboken from 1989. A thank you also to Klemming Nilsson who provided the text with own experinces.