In 1936 Olle Westlund and a friend established Hestra Celluloid & Sportvarufabrik in their own 40 sqm workshop. After some disagreements Olle was on his own in 1938 working with celluloid (a precursor to clear plastic), making map sleeves for military use and face covers for motorcyclists. The armaments race in Europe at the time, led to a shortage of many everyday items. Isaberg Verkstads AB – the new company name – soon produced hair curlers and cycle bells. Thus metalwork was introduced in the company.
The map sleeves were assembled with staples using stapling pliers imported from Germany. In 1942 a bomb hit the German factory and the import of pliers ceased. Olle and Simon acted fast, and only 5 months later started the production of Rapid 1. This model, only slightly modified, is still made under the name K1 and is still a bestseller with around 900.000 units per year.
Staff in front of the factory, 1943.
Model 1 was followed by the legendary stapler K2 (has been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York), hole punches, staples and a wide variety of other models. The first hammer-tacker was made in 1950 and the first stapling-gun in ’57.
And now, the company passed its 75-year jubilee with honour. Still with feet buried deep in the soil of the vast forests of the Småland area in Sweden. Still cherishing tradition, design and innovation. Still working hard, making Svensk effixity happen for professionals and DIY-users, all over the world.