Vintage photos | the tools and handicrafts | Norway

Old objects tell stories, silent stories about a time gone by.
LA Dahlmann | talk NORWAY
Old Norwegian coffee grinder. The Norwegian word is «kaffekvern» - or in local Telemark dialect: «kvenn». | Photo: Vest-Telemark Museum - digitaltmuseum.no KVB.0088 - cc by-sa.

In days of yore, one could wake up and really smell the coffee.

Old Norwegian coffee grinder. The Norwegian word is «kaffekvern» – or in local Telemark dialect: «kvenn».

Photo: Vest-Telemark Museum – digitaltmuseum.no KVB.0088 – cc by-sa.

A simple Norwegian floor sweeper made of sticks

A simple Norwegian floor sweeper made of sticks. | Photo: Roger Berg - digitalmuseum.no SA.04148 - CC BY-SA.

Photo: Roger Berg – digitalmuseum.no SA.04148 – CC BY-SA.

The grindstone was a vital tool on the old Norwegian farm

Otto Horndal sharpens his scythe on the old grindstone. The name of the man pulling the crank handle is not known. The location is Horndalen, Elverum, Hedmark, Norway – and the year is 1958.

If you ever visit a Norwegian farm, ask to be shown where the grindstone is. A surprisingly large number of farms still have the grindstone tucked away somewhere – or even displayed in a prominent place. For many, it is a symbol of the old farming way of life – evoking childhood memories and emotions.

Otto Horndal sharpens his scythe on the old grindstone. The name of the man pulling the crank handle is not known. The location is Horndalen, Elverum, Hedmark, Norway - and the year is 1958. If you ever visit a Norwegian farm, ask to be shown where the grindstone is. A surprisingly large number of farms would still have the grindstone tucked away somewhere. | Photo: Dagfinn Grønoset Glomdalsmuseet - digitaltmuseum.no DGS.2971 - cc by-sa.

Photo: Dagfinn Grønoset Glomdalsmuseet – digitaltmuseum.no DGS.2971 – cc by-sa.

Beautiful craftsmanship

A handmade wooden bucket – from Dale, Fjaler, Sunnfjord, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.

A handmade wooden bucket - from Dale, Fjaler, Sunnfjord, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. | Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfelt - digitaltmuseum.no NFL.11114 - cc by-sa.

Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfelt – digitaltmuseum.no NFL.11114 – cc by-sa.

An old plough

An old Norwegian plough made of wood and iron. 85 cm tall – and 106 cm long. Used with a horse. From Hopland, Utvik, Stryn, Sogn og Fjordane.

An old Norwegian plough made of wood and iron. 85 cm tall - and 106 cm long. Used with a horse. From Hopland, Utvik, Stryn, Sogn og Fjordane. | Photo: Nordfjord Folkemuseum - digitaltmuseum.no NFM.0000-00985 - cc by-sa.

Photo: Nordfjord Folkemuseum – digitaltmuseum.no NFM.0000-00985 – cc by-sa.

Our most recent posts

My Norwegian heritage

With Christmas comes the turning of the sun, and the promise of a new year. Enjoy these traditional and vintage Norwegian Christmas cards - 24 in all.
Once upon a time in the distant past, imagine yourself sitting in a small boat, facing this mighty gateway into the bowels of the land.
As far as palaces go, the main royal residence in Oslo is a modestly sized building. Here we see it from an unusual angle, painted by the architect himself.
The first half of the 1900s was a time of enormous change in Norwegian society. It was then that a young boy experienced a peculiar family custom.
Carl Fredrik Sundt-Hansen created this fascinating oil painting in 1904. It is like a window leading into the house of history. If only we could climb through.
In olden Norway, the farm-animals were sent off to the mountains and forests all summer. With them came a herder to guard them, and a maid to turn their milk into cheese and butter.
A kjenge is a drinking bowl used in the old Norwegian farming society – usually with two handles - carved and hollowed out from one piece of wood.
When humankind first appeared in the Norwegian landscape – sometime after the last ice age – the search for food was their primary motivation.
Do you know the name of Norway’s capital city? Test yourself, friends, and family in this 10 multiple-choice questions quiz vol. 1. See the correct answer below each photo.
In 1942, Hans Hyldbakk wrote the history of the local cotter's holdings in Surnadal, Nordmøre, Norway. The book was updated in 1966.
Oslo is the capital city of Norway. It was founded in AD 1048 by the Viking king Harald Hardråde. Historically, the city is also known as Christiania or Kristiania.
Some of the beautiful Norwegian wooden stave churches are almost 1000 years old. Today, there are 28 of them left.
Norway's mainland coastline, with its many fjords and islands, is the second longest in the world - next only to Canada. Here are some more facts for you.
The traditional Sami houses, the goahti, were in use until well into our own time. Anders Larsen tells us how he remembers them from the coastal Sami communities in northern Norway.
The Stone age people were master hunters, fishers, and gatherers. The lived with the seasons and followed the prey.
With the High middle ages came expansion and progress. But everything was about to change, in the most brutal way imaginable.
The horse no longer roams wild in the Norwegian landscape. But it still has an important place in the Norwegian psyche.
In Norway, the pizza appeared as an exotic newcomer in the 1970s. But bread topped with foodstuffs is nothing new in Norwegian food history.
A kipe is a tall, woven basket, often made of twigs from the birch tree. It was carried on the back, and typically used when carrying loads in a landscape full of steep fields and paths.
The old Norwegian farming society was a self-sufficient and balanced world. Coins and notes were all but an alien concept.
When the ice melted after the last ice age, herds of reindeer followed in its wake. And with the animals came their main predator: the humans.

Follow us on social media

Norwegian history