Company History

Our first 150 years made cruising safer and our position strong. For us, that's just the beginning.

Company History

historik_coversIt all started the 9th of May 1856. The travelling blacksmith Carl Mauritz Hammar had arrived to the city of Göteborg on the western coast of Sweden. In the heart of Scandinavia here was, and still is, the biggest harbour in northern Europe. Here he saw the potential to be a supplier for the city’s big shipyard industry. And on that magic day he received the king’s letter giving him permission to start a sheet metal workshop and the company Hammar.

The company soon got recognized as one of the best metal shops in the country. The speciality product segment became navigation lights for ships, which gave the company a prestigious gold medal in the 1886’s world exhibition in Liverpool. Thanks to one of the sons in the house, Hammar became the first Swedish company to sell compasses in 1895. The son Gustaf was studying in London and learned all about manufacturing compasses from the Hughes family. Until 1978 the company had delivered more than 7000 Hammar compasses.

The close relations between the families Hughes and Hammar led to long-term business. It is now, in the beginning of the 20th century, Hammar starts to focus on better solutions for safety at sea. As general agent Hammar started to import nautical instruments. Together with the Hughes family they developed the compasses with vibration dampening and gyros. In 1930 Hammar delivered the first eco sounder to a Swedish merchant vessel and in 1946 the first radar. In 1956 Hammar introduced the inflatable liferafts in Sweden, that during the years have saved lots of lives at sea.

Since 1985 the Hammar H20 hydrostatic release unit for liferafts and EPIRBs has been the leading product in the Hammar range. Today the Hammar hydrostatic inflator for lifejackets and the remote release system for liferafts are important products in Hammar’s assortment. The company’s turnover is approximately SEK 90 million and the market share for the release unit is about 80 %.

In January 2014 Hammar was acquired by Ernströmgruppen, which is a privately owned conglomerate with a long-term ownership commitment. This gives Hammar the possibility to combine the best of entrepreneurial spirit and large-scale enterprise. But the core values at Hammar will remain the same. We will continue to focus on our commitment to quality, constant innovations and sensitivity to our customers’ needs.

Hammar is still located in Göteborg, a city with long tradition of shipping and shipbuilding. We will continue to work for better solutions for safety at sea. By actively develop new global safety products for the shipping and shipbuilding industry, Hammar will lead the way towards increased safety at the seven seas. We have done it for over 160 years – for us that’s just the beginning.