Jump to maincontent

Ole Mikkelsen Flagstad, gunmaker

Family portrait. Ole M. Flagstad, Kirsten Flagstad, Anne Kristine Flagstad. Second row: Marie Flagstad, Ole Flagstad and Michael Flagstad.

Were you aware that the Flagstad family was creative in other ways than music?

Kirsten Flagstads grandfather, to the left on the picture, was a famous maker of skates. As the World Championship Allround skating is in Hamar this weekend, we wrote about the man behind the long distance skate.

Ole Flagstad (1836-1901) started making skates in his little workshop by Strandstuen about 1880. The sport of skating had become popular in Norway, and the blacksmiths were the ones to start looking into the making of the skate. Hamar Skating Club had existed since 1865, and in 1880 the little town had it’s own mainland skating track. Flagstad was rapidly known as one of the countrys biggest producers of the skate with attached boot. And as a driven gunmaker, he had knowledge about the irons quality. He invented a model who got recognition all over the world, and Hamars skilled speedskaters brought home orders of skates to speedskaters from different countrys, after being there for competition or practice.

The skate was famous among the speedskaters doing competition, and they could order the skate in adjustment of weight and height. More and more orders would come pouring in, and Ole Flagstads workshop were making skates all year around. He delivered skates to the famous skaters of the time, such as dutch skaters Japp Eden and Maarten Kligma. Eventually the foreigners would come to Hamar to practice and order skates. Ole Flagstad had costumers in Sweden, Russia, England, Canada, USA and the little workshop were now doing skates exclusively. The skates were all branded with «O.M. Flagstad Hamar».

This is taken from the book about Kirsten Flagstads life written by Ingeborg Solbrekken. "Stemmen - Kirsten Flagstad - Verdensstjerne og syndebukk." 

The book in only available in norwegian