Bofors Works history began in 1646 with the granting of permission from the ‘Bergskollegium’ (a government body) to build ironworks in Karlskoga. As was usually the case, land around the works was given over to industrial agriculture. The works gradually expanded to make iron bars, spades, forged goods plus many other diverse types of iron products. At the end of the 1800s, the casting of cannon barrels began. These were then sold on to Finspångs Works where they would be finished and made ready for mounting in place. Quite soon, the workshops in Karlskoga were extended and they were able to begin producing complete guns on-site. In 1873 the works became a ‘Limited’ company.
The area around the Bofors works started to grow. Shops, housing, doctors, butchers, tailors plus much more was all run by the Bofors Company. The whole of Karlskoga municipality was very much dominated by Bofors. In a relatively short time Bofors became the major employer in the area, remaining so right up until the 1970s.
The exhibition about Bofors Works and AB Bofors-Gullspång (later called AB Bofors) covers the growth of the company from its roots in iron and agriculture to being an industrial giant. It is also possible to see material relating to the company’s social ambitions, including housing, retirement homes, childcare centres, doctors’ surgeries and holiday villages.