Eyvind Bagle is defending his dissertation for the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD) at the University of South-Eastern Norway.
The doctoral work has been carried out at the Faculty of Humanities, Sports, and Educational Science.
You are welcome to follow the trial lecture and the public defence.
Theisis in USN Open Archive: Nature’s Factory: A case study of Norwegian natural ice exports in the era of industrialization, 1840-1920
From about the middle of the 19th century until the First World War, Norway was a significant exporter of natural ice to several European countries, especially to Great Britain. Blocks of ice were "harvested" from ponds and lakes, stored in icehouses, and transported across the North Sea. The ice was kept intact over long distances and periods of time, sometimes several years. There were many areas of use, mainly related to the storage of foodstuffs.
Although the exports of natural ice for several decades affected the lives of thousands on the south-eastern coastal areas of Norway, it has received limited attention in Norwegian historiography.
The thesis provides new knowledge about why and how the natural ice trade came to be a regular economic activity in south-east Norwegian coastal communities. The focus is on the period between 1840 and 1920.
The approach is to consider this development as a case of industrialization, while retaining the maritime perspective throughout. This means considering industrialization as a broad social transformation. Also in a historical perspective, innovation and capitalist competition impacted areas outside the larger cities and those branches that have traditionally been perceived as central to industrialization processes.
The method of the thesis is to examine the actions of a group of entrepreneurs and their companies, among other things discussing how Norwegian businessmen adopted methods that were originally developed in the USA. The industry gained local roots in Norwegian coastal communities, particularly in Telemark and along parts of the Oslofjord. It is argued that telegraph communication was decisive for how the Norwegian ice export was conducted, especially from the 1880s.