The smithy served as workshop for making the tools required for pouring the carbide, assembling electrodes and producing the pots into which the molten carbide was poured. The building had to be finished and ready for work by the 15th of June 1907, before the carbide ovens were started. Unless the deadline was met there would be penalties, as stipulated in contracts kept in the company archives. An operational and spacious smithy was of utmost importance for building and operation of the plant. Already during the building site works, in 1906-07, there were several makeshift smithies on the factory grounds.
In the early years of the plant much of the equipment was made locally by highly skilled workers. The Cyanamid factory had own workshops and forges. The forges played a crucial role in the operations and maintenance work at the smelting plants. Many youths have done their apprenticeships in the smithy over the years, and a lot of equipment for private use has been produced here, both during and after work hours.
From 1912 to 1914 the production capacity was increased, and the workshop and smithy had to be expanded. Until 2003 tools for smelting, melting pots and equipment for the electrodes of the carbide ovens were made in building 26. All the products were adapted to keep abreast with technological developments.
Building 26 is Scandinavia’s largest remaining industrial smithy. It belongs to the Norwegian museum of hydro power and industry (NVIM). Part of the building is used as deposit for the museum.
The County of Hordaland and the Odda Secondary School established the country’s first professional course in forging in the autumn of 2015.
The smithy being built i 1907. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives
Architecture: The building is in brick, with elaborate details. It is an example of the type of industrial brick architecture which saw the light in England and was later introduced in the United States. The style differs radically from local building traditions.