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Not always serious

Working such hard labour also meant friendship as well as enmity wich could lead to many funny situations.


Working on the plant two workers, Big-Ola and Finberg, had snatched two relatively large crates of copper. They had succeeded in getting the crates transported to the quay, but as they were bringing the crates aboard the boat to Bergen the police came and arrested both. They had simply been turned in by Big-Ola’s wife. It is unclear which of the two was more responsible for the theft but Big-Ola had one or two other things to answer for, and was sentenced to almost two years in prison, while Finberg was let off. During Ola’s stay in prison his wife was granted divorce, with Ola’s consent. A short time later Finberg married Ola’s wife. When Ola heard about the marriage he exclaimed: “Finberg probably got the worst punishment after all!” 

(By local writer Olaves Steinpokker 1941)


Turistpar på kaia i Odda kring 1930 Illustration - a couple on the quay in Odda. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives





Electricity was something grand and wonderful when it first came. At a wedding in Tyssedal a lot of people from the fjord attended, who had not yet gotten electricity. Consequently everyone was not familiar with all the innovations. At nightfall the wife of the house turned on the lights, startling an elderly woman who slapped her hands on her knees and said: “My oh my, whatever did you touch now?”

(From the book "Dei Finaste Band" by Torkel Stana)


Ljos i stovo hos eit par i Tyssedal Odda and Tyssedal were two of the first communities in Norway to have electric lights in the houses from 1913. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives




Big-Johan Green one day met Sigurd Kloumann himself, one of the truly great engineers of the pioneering age. The two met each other out on the narrow bridge across the gorge where the river Tysso ran wild beneath them. Big-Johan was carrying a heavy burden on his back. On the middle of the bridge Kloumann waved at Big-Johan to turn back, - big, important gentlemen expected right of way in those days, though by stature Klouman was quite small. Big-Johan had one arm free. He grabbed Kloumann by the chest, lifted him up and over the railings. There he held the terrified engineer over a 40 meter drop, and said: “Count yourself lucky I like children”. Then he set Kloumann down on the bridge behind him. Both were free to walk on in the direction they were headed.



Room for only one man to cross the narrow bridge over the roaring river Tysso.  Photo: Kraftmuseet archives






Gustav Adolf Andersen ”Doffen” says:

We were 32 men to the room, but there were only 16 bunks. So we had to sleep two to each bunk. I came here in 1915, in the middle of World War I. Workers didn’t stay long. It made for a change, because you never knew who you would end up bunking with at night.


Menn i ei hytte ved Bersåvatn i 1916 Men bunking in a barrack in Hardangervidda 1916. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives

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The industrial history of Odda


Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry

Naustbakken 7, 5770 Tyssedal
Phone: +47 53 65 00 50