Electricity, technological change and productivity in Swedish industry, 1890 1990.
SCH N, LENNART
Electricity and electrotechnical industry have taken a central position in Swedish industrial development ever since the breakthrough of the high-voltage technique in the 1890s. Some reasons for the importance of electricity are quite obvious. Due to her natural resources, Sweden had at an early stage developed many energy intensive industries such as iron and steel works and pulp and paper mills. She lacked, however, deposits of fossil fuels while the supply of water power was abundant. Hence, early on there was a strong stimulus to develop a system of generation and transmission of electrical power as well as to invest in electrotechnical equipment. Similarly, there was a strong stimulus to the development of a domestic electrotechnical engineering industry. This industry became a backbone of the more sophisticated manufacturing that spurred Swedish industrialization from the 1890s onwards.
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