The whetstone quarry

Would you like to see the whetstone quarry or learn more about the history of the whetstone? In the summer the tourist trail is open with information boards and rest areas.

Begin at West Telemark Museum, Eidsborg, and take a walking trip to the quarry. The trip is estimated to take two hours and follows the road the quarry-workers used. It passes through magnificent nature and offers historical experiences along the way. This trip is also suited for the not-so-experienced walker.
 




The history
The production of whetstone (sharpening stone) in Eidsborg goes back a long way in time. As far back as the 8th century, whetstone has been quarried here. One can assume that ever since tools made of iron appeared in the Iron Age, people have had the need for a way to sharpen their tools. The Eidsborg whetstone is quartz-mica-schist. The fine quartz grains in the stone loosen during sharpening and form a fine sharpening powder. Stone from Eidsborg became known as an especially good quality stone, and archaeologists have found Viking age and middle age traces of it all over Europe. Two different qualities of stone were quarried at Eidsborg: hard stone and soft stone. The hard stone was exported, but locally the soft stone was preferred as it was better suited to the hard steel used here.
When Norrøna factories took over the production in the 1880’s and 90’s, production and trade were better organised, and the extent of production also increased greatly. Industrialisation and the opening of the Telemark canal were important premises for this development. Production changed when one could begin using explosives and machines. Instead of exporting only the raw material for sharpening stones, they began finishing the stones for sale. Transportation was also facilitated when the stone could be loaded on boats at Lastein in Dalen and ship it directly to Skien without having to transfer it along the way. In time, motorised trucks replaced horse and wagon. 
Norrøna factories’ production of whetstone at Eidsborg continued until 1950. At that time, competition from molded sharpening stone and lowered demand due to mechanisation of farming made further industrial production difficult to support. In spite of this, Eidsborg whetstone was still sought-after and production continued on a small scale until the 1970’s.  
 
 



Utskriftsversjon Utskriftsversjon

News

Western Telemark in pictures and on film
See what Western Telemark looks like from a helicopter, or take a virtual trip along the Telemark Canal with the canal boat MS Henrik Ibsen.
 

The whetstone quarry
Would you like to see the whetstone quarry or learn more about the history of the whetstone? In the summer the tourist trail is open with information boards and rest areas.
 

The movie about Sondre Norheim
In the movie “Frikaren på ski” you can see how Sondre revolutionized skiing and gave rise to modern ski sport. Words like Slalom, Telemark-landing and Telemark-turn have their origins in Morgedal and Telemark. The new skis you buy today are still built on Sondre`s principles.
 

See Tveitenstoga on the move
What is 10 m long, weighs 90 tonnes and is out on a sleigh ride? NRK has made a report on the moving of ‘Tveitenstoga’ to Vest-Telemark Museum, Eidsborg
 
Logg inn