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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Viking, Kwik•Sew, Fiskars and Minneapolis. ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Viking, Kwik•Sew, Fiskars and Minneapolis.
There's a connection, I'll bet.
solveg
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solveg  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/30/12 5:01 PM

I'm putting out a call for anyone with information about these 3 brands (Viking, Kwik Sew or Fiskars) or Kersten Martensson.

As some of you know, I have a blog where I'm making 100 Kwik Sew patterns in an attempt to learn how to sew the right way. What you don't know is that I'm sewing on a 6XXX series Viking Husqvarna and I'm using Fiskars Scissors. And I'm a few miles from Minneapolis.

Why is this important? It may not be. But I was gathering information about Ms Martensson and was going to go get my picture taken in front of the 2 Kwik Sew buildings I know about. As I was mapping it out, I began thinking of my dad's ad agency that was only a few blocks away from the first Kwik Sew.

I know Ms. Martensson got her start as a pattern maker for Viking and had a really fascinating job in the 60's for a woman. So I want to do an article about that for my blog. But the added spice is that the reason I'm on a viking and using Fiskars is because that's what we had in our house in the 70's when my dad's ad agency got both accounts. At pretty much the same time.

I know Fiskars are Finnish, but at one time they were a Swedish company, and I think it's interesting they both developed a presence in the US at the same time, and chose the same ad agency.

And why Minneapolis? Vikings headquarters and Kwik Sew were in Mpls, and Fiskars was in Wisconsin. Yes. We have a lot of Swedes up here. But it seems to me that these 3 lines are very unique, hit the US market at the same time, and seem connected to me. Maybe it's just the times I grew up in. But maybe there's a mystery here that we can unravel if we all contribute little bits and pieces.

Here's a link to the Kerstin Martensson article, and it was very interesting: link
-- Edited on 8/31/12 11:46 PM --

Laurie Lou
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Laurie Lou  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/30/12 5:14 PM

Cool, thanks, checking it out now. I am from MPLS, belong to the Bloomington ASG group and pattern testers. and grew up on a Viking 6xxx. I even have a picture of me using it to sew a roaring 20's costume for my 11th grade party.but I don't think we had fiskars then. And Joan Zandlo (In the article) is still active with our Pattern Testers group. Do you belong to ASG?
-- Edited on 8/30/12 5:26 PM --

------
Laurie Lou

solveg
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In reply to Laurie Lou <<


Date: 8/30/12 5:44 PM

I have the brochure for ASG in my car! I just need to bring it in the house to fill it out.

How cool that Joan Zandlo in your Pattern Testers group!

Here's a little interesting tidbit I learned so far (unrelated to The Mystery):

1967 - Fiskars manufactures the world's first plastic-handled scissors
The orange-handled scissors are one of Fiskars' best known products. But how was decided to make the handles of the scissors orange?
In 1967 when the first basic models were about to be manufactured the designer wanted the scissors to be black, red or green. As the prototype went into production, the machinist decided to finish off the orange color he had in his machine. This meant prototypes were made in four different colors, of which the orange and black were most popular. A choice had to be made. An internal vote was taken at Fiskars, and the result gave birth to Fiskars orange-handled scissors.

The color, Fiskars Orange®, was officially registered as a trademark in Finland in 2003 and in the US 2007.

solveg
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solveg  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/30/12 5:46 PM

And relevant to The Mystery:

1977 - Fiskars scissors factory founded in the USA
Fiskars' expansion began with the founding of a scissors factory in the United States. Setting up in the strongest economy in the world, the US, proved to be a successful choice. It has provided a basis for international trade, a growing market and valuable commercial and professional experience.

(This is about the time I'm questioning. I wonder if that first factory was in Wisconsin where the current headquarters are? I think it's Madison, but I'll have to look it up.)

Sharon M
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Sharon M  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/30/12 9:08 PM

Interesting project! I'm also in Minnesota and a member of ASG. Except there are no close neighborhood groups...

Try contacting Ellen who also is a Minnesotan. She worked for Kwik Sew and may be able to give you some information or put you in touch with someone that could help you.

I don't know if she reviews on PR or not.

I won't give out her contact info without her permission, but you may be able to find her contact info on the Guild's blog. Here's the link to her profile on the Guild's blog.
http://minneapolismodernquiltguild.blogspot.com/2012/08/member-spotlight-ellen-m.html

If not, let me know and I'll see if I can get the two of you in touch with one another.

------
Blog: www.sharonsews.com
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beauturbo
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In reply to solveg <<


Date: 8/31/12 0:46 AM

Here is their old website before sold to McCalls just pretty recently.

http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.kwiksew.com

Pick a date and year. Any of them. It's recorded since 1998. On the oldest web page recorded, Jan 1998, they wrote their own history there:

http://web.archive.org/web/19980118141156/http://kwiksew.com/history.htm

I don't think Fiskars sissors connected though. And Viking been around way, way prior to that. Here is the owners manual for a Kwik Sew sewing machine though, you might have fun reading that.

http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/779_white-600-kwik-sew-x.pdf

solveg
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Date: 8/31/12 4:11 AM

Oooh! What good leads you guys gave me! Thanks!

Yes, I think the Fiskars thing might be a stretch, but it is weird, anyway. I still think it's unlikely that the two brands would enter the US at the same time, settle in the same area and then go to the same ad agency (which was still fairly small at the time). The look and feel of the two campaigns were very similar, because the agency had a specific look. I think that's why they might mesh in my mind strongly. But we'll find out what we find out. I'm very anxious to dig through the way back machine. I forgot about that.

beauturbo
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In reply to solveg <<


Date: 8/31/12 1:38 PM

For some reason, (not exactly sure why) I was thinking the orange handled Fiskar's scissor came about, because they made more kitchen kind of scissor first, the kind you might use, to cut up a un-cooked chicken with bones still it it. And then somehow they then later got into making sewing scissors afterwards instead.

I think a lot of stuff got imported in the 60/70's. My favorite actually was the Troll dolls made by Dam. When I was a child, we used to sew clothes for those.

tourist
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Date: 8/31/12 3:05 PM

Solveg - I couldn't get to the story from your link. Had to go through asg.org, to the Sewing Hall of Fame section and found it there. Nancy Zieman's story made me tear up a bit!

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

solveg
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Date: 8/31/12 11:49 PM

Hmmmm. I think I fixed it.

I'll have to read Nancy Zieman's story. I can't imagine what would be sad about it! I think its wonderful that someone took a risk on her to give her a TV show even though she had that paralysis thing. At a really young age, too. Nowadays, I am not sure that would have happened and she wouldn't have been able to have such an impact on sewing.

She's had that tv show since she was a teenager, I think. Maybe a little later, but not much...

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