The Fagersta Logo

Palm trees...? In Sweden...?
No - the Fagersta logo is a stylised version of the lily, used to
signify the Fagersta region in Sweden.

Latin, lilies and lots of steel Fagersta continues to use the stylised mark that links it to its Swedish roots

There is a history attached to Fagersta that goes back to the early 1300’s. At that time near the modern day town of Fagersta, men came to mine the rich iron ore deposits. Conditions for manufacturing iron were ideal; the ore was of high quality, the forests provided a plentiful supply of timber and charcoal as fuel, and numerous waterfalls could furnish blast furnaces and hammer forges with the necessary power.

Due to these ideal conditions, the industry grew to considerable size. By the mid-18th century, Sweden had become the world’s leading iron manufacturer, accounting for an estimated one third of the global iron trade. Exports grew along with production, and until the breakthrough of industrialization in the mid- 19th century, Sweden remained one of the world’s foremost suppliers of iron.

This position had been achieved mainly due to the high quality of Swedish ore and the abundance of forests. But the industrial revolution completely changed the market situation for Swedish iron. New metallurgical processes using coal and coke as fuel and reducing agents were introduced in England and on the Continent.

the lily

Having no coal reserves of its own, Sweden was unable to mass-produce ordinary commercial steel by the new processes.
Instead, the Swedish industry shifted increasingly toward production and export of high-grade iron and steel.

What has this got to do with Fagersta and why do they have a “palm tree” as their logo? Documents from 1611 show that iron making on a commercial scale was conducted at three mills in central Sweden, one being at Fagersta.

Growth over the ensuing decades into the 1800’s saw the Fagersta mill grow to be the largest, with the company, Fagersta Bruks AB formed in 1873. By the end of the century it had become Sweden’s largest iron mill.

At that time, Johan August Brinell was chief engineer. He gained world fame by inventing an apparatus and the method for measuring hardness that carries his name to this day. In the production of steel in Sweden, all products that left a mill had to be stamped using a registered iron mark. In the case of Fagersta, a number of iron marks were used but the most famous of the Fagersta marks was the “Lily”.

This mark pressed into iron billets, resembled the ormbär flower, a lily quite common in the area with the Latin name “Paris quadrifolia”. To this day, original “Lily” iron marks can be seen in the museum at Fagersta in central Sweden. What looks like a “palm tree” is in fact a stylised mark, originally stamped in steel but today stamped on a business that would become the last bastion for the name and logo of a company that had its heritage in a steel industry of centuries ago.