Day 206 - Hartford
The Swedish ball-bearing company SKF established its U.S. plant in Hartford during the First World War, because there were so many Swedes there.
The factories in Hartford had began to attract Swedes as early as in the 1880s. Many worked for the engineering company Pratt & Whitney. Bengt Hanson (1866-1925) who was born in Bohuslän on the Swedish west coast arrived to Hartford in 1895. He had some college education as well as technical education with him from Sweden when he began on a bench at the Pratt & Whitney Company. The industrious Swede was for many years in charge of gun production at the company’s Colt Fire Arms branch and eventually ended up as both vice president and general manager of Pratt & Whitney. When he died Clarence Whitney said that “The world has lost one of its most brilliant mechanical engineers. Our country has lost one of its most patriotic citizens.” And it was Bengt Hanson who helped SKF establish a subsidiary in the United States and place it in Hartford.