There are many inventions and brands out there. Many of whom are strongly connected to its country of origin. Italy is famous for it’s many exotic cars, France for it’s many ugly cars and England for it’s novelty cars. English Russia bring up Russian products that at least I never knew were Russian. I know that Sweden contributed some of the the biggest store chains of the century, like IKEA and H&M though. For most inventions however, I guess I just always take it for granted it was invented by “some guy”. Surely a small country like Norway could not contribute anything of value?

I will list some of the more technological products and inventions I find to be of interest personally. If you have any to add to the list, please leave a comment. I will update the list whenever I come across something new.

Cheese Slicer
A most wonderful invention. Invented in 1925. Many Swedes also think that THEY invented it. Guess they just confused it for a wrench.

Luxo Lamp
I bet many of my readers have seen the Luxo Jr. short by Pixar (their very first!). The desk lamp playing with the ball. If you haven’t seen the short, than at least you have no doubt seen the lamp as part of the logo at the beginning of every Pixar movie.
The Luxo lamp is not a fictional lamp, in fact even the name is based in reality. The “Luxo L-1”, from the Luxo company, was introduced in 1937, and has since sold over 25 million units.

Tiki 100
A computer manufactured by Tiki Data, launched in 1984, aimed at the education sector. It was first known as the Kon-Tiki, but was renamed after a dispute over the name. This thing had polyphonic sound, 5¼ inch floppies, 64kB of RAM and it didn’t even run DOS (until later). It’s easy to understand exactly how far ahead of everything else the Mac was, when it was launched that very same year.

Would you believe that? CSS, the technology that no website can be without today, coming from Norway?
In 1994, Håkon Wium Lie proposed the concept of Cascading Style Sheets. He is currently the CTO of Opera Software, also a Norwegian company. He has also worked for the W3C, and in 2005 proposed the Acid2 test.

Object-Oriented Programming
Simula was a programming language developed in the 60s for making simulations. You might never have heard of Simula, but it introduced concepts like objects and classes, things that programmers today take for granted. As with CSS, we would be stuck in the stone age today if it wasn’t for Simula.

smart isn’t the only company capable of building small and somewhat ugly electric cars. Norwegian Think deserves a place on the list too, if only for it’s bumpy history and number of owners. With roughly 1000 units sold, it is however the most successful car maker from Norway. America, you beat us though.

UPDATE October 6: The Paper Clip
Thanks to Annikken for pointing out the paper clip in the comments. Most Norwegians (and many outside of Norway too) seem to think the paper clip is Norwegian. Even I did, up until today. When I hit up Wikipedia, I realized this was not true however. Could be a good thing. After all, I think most of us are sick and tired of the paper clip by now.

Hit up the Wikipedia links for more info on any given invention.

(and yes, both Kristanna Loken and Matt Groening are part Norwegian)


3 Responses to “What Did Norway Ever Do For You?”  

  1. 1 Eivind

    Interesting – I knew of a couple of these, but several were new to me. 🙂

  2. 2 annikken

    Bindersen:) Er det paperclip det heter?

  3. 3 Andreas

    Ooo ja, stemmer det 🙂 Den må jeg få lagt til. Takk skal du ha 🙂


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