The rise of Wibe Ladders is the story of the many inventive people who have made their mark on the company over the years. People used to say that Wibe Ladders’ employees were quite ingenious. Nowadays we’d tend to call them innovation-driven. Because that’s exactly what we are.
Wibe Ladders’s first ladder was made in a small factory in Mora, northern central Sweden, back in 1929. It was the first ladder to be made of steel tubing rather than wood, and few could have imagined then that it would represent such a breakthrough. In fact, the locals thought the founders were crazy, making ladders from steel when all that nearby forest was full of wood.
Inventor Anders Wikstrand was the man behind the revolutionary steel ladder. Along with financier Victor Berg, he laid the foundation for the company which, still today, is run by the same principles: quality and safety in every step.
The men behind Wibe Ladders
The story of Wibe Ladders is the tale of a technical designer and a financier. Two men with different talents, but with a shared interest in steel.
Anders Wikstrand was born in Vika, a village quite local to Mora town, in 1872. From a young age he had an interest in engineering, and he was said to be ‘born with a technical designer’s eye’. He also had a great interest in doing business. At the age of 14 he began working in a shop in Mora, and at 16 he was off to Stockholm. He stayed in the capital for a few years but before the turn of the century he was back in Mora, where he started a general store with his brother. But Anders wanted more. Alongside the store he started doing business in forest holdings, and soon after that he began inventing machines and devices that could make demanding tasks easier in some way.
Anders Wikstrand was General Manager of Wibe Ladders from the beginning until 1954. By then he was 82 and was succeeded by his son, Torsten.
Victor Berg arrived in Mora in 1886 at the age of 15. He started work as an office clerk at forest company Korsnäsbolaget. Victor was an industrious young man who did his job well, and as time passed he was entrusted with more and more responsibility. He eventually took over management of Korsnäsbolaget’s Mora district from his father-in-law Schollin.
After financing the initial founding of the company, Victor’s main involvement with Wibe Ladders was of a financial nature, but he was also Chairman of the Board. Victor was active in the company for 13 years until the end of his life, when he was succeeded by his son, Per-Erik.