Bertil Svensson was never destined to take over the family farm. Being an inquisitive, open-minded person, he instead trained as an electrician. During the dark winter evenings on the farm, he would see his mother struggle with her handicrafts in a dimly lit room. In the year 1943, Bertil had a brilliant idea for a Christmas gift for his mum. He bought an 18.6 mm light-gauge conduit, a bit of cord, a lamp holder and a mains plug from his employer. He asked a local carpenter to turn him a birchwood lamp foot, and found a 60 cm lampshade at the local department store. And then he sat down to assemble his very first light fixture.
The result, a floor lamp in the shape of a question mark, was a big hit, brightening his mother’s crafts room on long, dark winter days.
“Doing needlework by the light of a floor lamp was not very common in those days,” Bertil said. “I didn’t spend a lot of money making that lamp, and when I saw what similar ones cost in the shops, I got the idea that maybe I could make a living making lamps.”
“That was my whole idea. I had no thought at all about organisation, sales technique or distribution.”