By the end of the 19th century, Norway was an impoverished country. The Norwegian oil and gas adventure was still a distant dream waiting to be dreamt up. The industrial entrepreneur and politician Peter Jebsen was just passing through the hamlet of Dale when he discovered the mighty Bergsdal river. Being an entrepreneur, he saw an inexhaustible source of energy – and the perfect spot for a factory.
The new factory came as a rescue for the poor, exhausted farmers. For many this was the final call-off for any desperate plan to emigrate to the US. On August 22, 1879 the turbines took their first turns. An industrial adventure, and the largest textile community in Norway, was at its very beginning. From this day on, there has been continuous textile production at Dale.
With a relentless focus on quality and innovation, the factory grew to become Scandinavia’s largest and most up-to-date textile factory in its field. With the help of the highly popular Norwegian team sweaters for the 1956 Winter Olympics and the 1966 Cross Country World Championships, the factory gained international reputation. First steps were taken to become an international leading brand.
And the rest is, as they say, history. Persistence, endurance and a rare fighting spirit have ultimately made the small community with the large factory able to create the brand known today as Dale of Norway. To quote Isaac Newton (the guy with the apple, you know): We are standing on the shoulders of giants.