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 Thor Bjørklund

Thor Bjørklund (1889 – 1975) was a Norwegian inventor. He is best known as the inventor of a popular cheese slicer which developed into an important Norwegian export product.

Thor Bjørklund was apprenticed as cabinet maker. He also attended the Arts and Crafts School in Oslo. He was employed for some time as a master carpenter. He began to experiment with a carpenter´s plane in the hope that he could create something similar for use in the kitchen. He succeeded. To start with, he made cheese slicers from his workshop, and on 27 February 1925 he patented the object which is today found in most households in the Nordic countries.

On a hot summerday in 1925 Thor Bjørklund had his lunchbreak in his carpenter-workshop at Lillehammer. As usual, he was curious about the lunch his wife had prepared for him. He was very excited when he discovered the four slices of bread with gouda-cheese (yellow-cheese)..... but the high temperature caused his cheese to melt, which made the cheese look uninviting. Therefore he tried to divide the slices of cheese so that he didn´t have to eat so much of it. At first he tried the knife..... that didn´t work ..... then he tried the saw.

That didn´t work either. After that he found his plane that he had been using recently to slice some wood. And it worked perfectly well. But it was a bit difficult to use. And you couldn´t store it in the kitchen. Therefore he decided to make it smaller.

After thinking about this over night, he found a thin slice of steel. He cut it and bent it down, while the back of the steel-slice was bent up. Then you could have a nice slice of cheese go through. Neighbours and friends loved his invention, so he had to make one for them too.

After a while he realized that he should take out a patent for his product, later this year he got it (by the way, the patent-number is 43377). In 1927 he started the firm today known as Thor Bjørklund & Sønner AS. The company still produce cheese slicers in Lillehammer. But since 2009, Thor Bjørklund & Sønner operates as a subsidiary of Gudbrandsdal Industrier AS

Our main diary company, TINE, claims that Norway is naturally very well suited to produce excellent diary products. Cows and Lambs thrive on sparsley populated areas and by crystal clear rivers, sea and unspoiled mountain sides they produce first grade milk for raw material all important in cheese making.

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