Curiosities

Johan Theofron Munktell made a name for himself early in his career. During his time at the Royal Swedish Mint in Stockholm he made a printing press in his free time. On this very press, Lars Johan Hierta printed the first copies of the newspaper Aftonbladet in 1830 and throughout the following year.

How a technical innovator starts a brewery
In 1854 J T Munktell started a brewery on a site adjacent to the workshop. Volvo BM and VME subsequently had their headquarters on the same site. The beer was an attempt by Munktell to promote temperance among his employees, whose taste for snaps was something he disapproved of.

In those days, the average alcohol consumption of an adult male in Eskilstuna was 2,5 liters of snaps a week.
On 18 May 1854, the newspaper Westmanlands Läns Tidning wrote the following:

…and excells in the art of brewery
"Eskilstuna. The Bäjerska Ölbryggeri, founded by Director Munktell, is now complete and in full operation. Anyone who has had the opportunity to visit cannot adequately appreciate the unsparing efforts and expense that Mr. Munktell has devoted to this spacious and in all respects well laid out facility, which even the experts consider to be one of the most excellent of its kind. The brewery is supervised by a Mr. Sandberg, who has gained experience of the profession both inside and outside the land and has already presented the fine results of his work. Mr Munktell's main motive for this enterprise was to be able to offer his many workers at the forge German and Swedish beer and non-alcoholic drinks in special rooms, and thereby combat the predominance of snaps here in the city."

The premises were opened on 1 May, and sales of the good, strong ale have been lively.

From mechanical looms to underwater engineering
A steam powered submarine was made together with Palmcrantzs Verkstäder and designed by weapons engineer Torsten Nordenfelt between 1879 and 1883.

In Eskilstuna, J T Munktell made the first mechanical loom in Sweden. This was delivered to the Rydboholm factory in Västergötland.

Initially, railway trains were drawn by steam engines. In the winter, there was not enough steam to both power the train and heat it. A steam wagon was therefore coupled to the train with a boiler for the heating system. In those days, the job of steam wagon supervisor was considered to be a prestigious one.