Enterprising offshoot of a merchant family
The history of the Hackman brand began in 1790 when the Bremener émigré Johan Friedrich Hackman gained the right to set up a trading house in the Hanseatic city of Vyborg. This became a successful timber goods business, and Hackman also recognised the opportunities available in the sawmill industry lying to the West in territory that is now in Finland. In the early 1800s he purchased an industrial site at Sorsakoski in Eastern Finland with a sawmill, a flourmill and a brick factory. The Hackman cutlery manufacturing business nevertheless began in a neighbouring district of Vyborg in 1876, by which time a younger Johan Friedrich Hackman was already leading the company.
Specialisation in metal industry with design as a success factor
The entire Hackman cutlery manufacturing operation moved to Sorsakoski in the early 1890s. The factory community was a society in miniature typical of the era, with the company taking responsibility for providing basic services to its employees. Hackman converted to full time metal industry operations when the Sorsakoski sawmill was completely destroyed by fire at the end of the 19th century. Manufacturing of new low-cost cutlery items forged from a single workpiece began in 1902, and the market was revolutionised in the 1920s by the introduction of stainless steel. In the 1950s the Sorsakoski factory diversified into manufacturing coffee pots, saucepans and other kitchen accessories, and into making pipes and containers.
The 1960s saw new cutlery creations by famous designers from Kaj Franck to Bertel Gardberg, while the Savonia range of Adolf Babel made the plant the flagship of Nordic cutlery design.
The leading Nordic specialist in its field
The factory was almost entirely rebuilt following a fire in 2002, but stainless steel continues to be its main raw material. It is now certified to the ISO 14001:2004 standard, which requires continuous assessment of environmental impacts and efforts to reduce the drawbacks of industrial manufacturing. The Sorsakoski cookware factory now specialises in manufacturing coated and uncoated steel and aluminium cookware, backed by a strong R&D programme. Hackman is now a trademark used by the Fiskars Group and remains the leading Nordic specialist in cutlery and cookware.