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The History of Troentorp Clogs - A Båstad Story
Clogs were first made in Troentorp just outside Bastad over a hundred years ago in 1907. The small Swedish clog factory was started by August Johansson who had spent the previous 8 years learning his trade from a local cobbler in the Bastad area. Over the years the production process developed and in 1942 Augusts sons, Börje and Stig took over the clog factory.
Since 1907 around 15 million pairs of clogs have been made and a lot of things have happened at our little factory. Below is a timeline giving our history:
The founder of Troentorp Toffel August Johansson is born.
Already at a young age August comes up with new solutions to improve things around him. He is just 14 when he finds a way to improve the tresh at the farm where he works. The older farmhands must have been surprised he even dared to suggest changing their old trusted tresh.
August finds himself interested in making clogs: How do you make them? Do people in the Bastad area like wooden clogs? Is there anyway to make these wooden shoes more comfortable and practical? Eager to learn, he starts looking for an experienced cobbler to learn from.
He gets a chance to learn when he moves to Kringelstad, a town with a clog cobbler. August now works as a farmhand during the day and goes and helps the cobbler in the evenings.
The master cobbler, impressed by August’s enthusiasm and skills, eventually offers him a job in the clog workshop.
August is ready to stand on his own. He rents his own premises in Troentorp outside Bastad, which now gets its own clog cobbler! Making wooden clogs is hard work. He makes some changes to make life in the workshop easier:
Firstly, he develops a new planer to make the rough wood work easier. The next step is a new homemade bandsaw. Finally, a new wind powered lathe was built. The building was just 3 x 4 meter and was placed on a pole so it could rotate depending on the direction of the wind.
Why are the first Troentorp clogs made of wood? The wood protects the feet against the Bastad regions harsh weather. At this time wood is also easily available and cheap in Sweden.
Two years later the factory building is moved to its current location in Troentorp, Bastad.
August has enough of the unpredictable wind power and finds a replacement in a 2 hp crude oil engine. The 2hp engine will be the work shop’s power plant until 1940.
The old oil engine is finally replaced with electricity.
August’s sons, Börje and Stig take over the Troentorp clog business.
The brothers hire the first fulltime employee at Troentorp, Sven Persson.
1944 & 1951:
Extensions and conversions are made to the factory building.
Troentorp introduces a new wedge heel bottom. This will be the foundation for the Original Bottoms still used in Troentorp clogs today.
The factory burns to the ground. Börje and Stig work day and night to restore the factory. They take the chance to rethink and develop the manufacturing process. To improve quality they decide the wood should be worked dry rather than wet. They introduce a dryer room, where they allow the wood to dry up before proceeding to make the wooden bottoms. This leads to big improvements in quality and it is one of the big changes at Troentorp.
A new boiler room and kiln is installed to dry the lumber. Production is increased to 104,000 pairs of clogs per year.
The Wright clogs (166) with a tailored weave across the clogs' front are created.
The Audubon Clogs (867) with laces are designed and go into production.
A new premise for nailing the clogs is built and production is increased to 244,000 pairs of Troentorp clogs per year.
The Mariah clog (373) sandal is designed and sees the Bastad sunlight for the first time.
A new sawmill building, a new kiln for drying the wood and a new machine hall for making the wooden clog bottoms are put in place.
Troentorp Durer, Donatello and Raphael clogs are developed and enter into production.
Engineer Torsten Thomasson is hired as CEO which allows Börje and Stig to focus on improving production techniques and working on inventions to ease the workload of the employees as well as improving quality.
The 150 craftswomen’s and craftsmen’s passion coupled with many years of hard work results in Troentorp’s peak of production: around 500,000 pair of clogs are made per year. Clogs leaving the Bastad region are sold to over 15 different countries. By this time our clogs have become famous both in Sweden and abroad.
This is also the year the Mary Jane (077) Clog sandals are designed.
The Rembrandt clogs (082) and O’Keefe (087) are created. At this point the demand for clogs has started to weaken so production and the number of employees has to be reduced.
The new Monet clogs (083) with a black wooden bottom enter into production.
1991 – 1992:
The Ideal Bottoms are developed.
The closed back clog, Van Gogh (5999) is developed. We also start making our steel-toe and closed back clogs: Picasso (5700).
The Four Star Professional (The Chef) and the Five Star Professional clogs go into production.
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