Skruf Glassworks was started in 1897 by a Robert Celander, who had been managing director of Johansfors Glassworks. Some farmers from the area also invested in the industry by the railway, which had been here since 1874. A number of industries already existed here, including a steam brewery (1876). The glassworks was located near the railway. Together with housing for the workers, the area evolved into a separate entity north of the railway, whereas the rest of the community lay to the south.
The first masters at the glassworks were Anders Kraft and Ludvig Olsson from Eda Glassworks, Frans Lööv from Lövsta Glassworks and Aron Nilsson from Kosta. The blowing room master was a brother of Anton Kraft and the foreman was Wilhelm Flinta. The ”potmaker” was Frans From. He made the large clay crucibles in which the glass material was melted, the same type that is still used by glassworks today. The mould carpenter was named Gottfrid Johansson.
The first glass furnaces were heated with direct-fired wood burning. In 1906 they were replaced with modern recuperator furnaces, ”IFÖ furnaces”. Skruf Glassworks was one of the first in Sweden to build such a furnace. Remnants of the furnace and recuperator still remain on the cellar level today.
Bengt Edenfalk was hired as a designer in the mid-1950s. He designed more than 70 different place settings for Skruf! In 1978 he started at Kosta Glassworks instead. Lars Hellsten was employed as a designer in 1964. He devoted himself mainly to cast, centrifuge and pressed glass. In 1972 he moved to Orrefors.
In 1973 Skruf, Gullaskruf, Åseda and Björkshult glassworks formed a common sales company in order to increase exports. In 1975, together with Målerås Glassworks, they formed the Royal Krona group, which went bankrupt after two years. In 1978 Skruf was bought by Kosta Boda AB, but it was shut down by them in 1980. In connection with this, the Ljuder local history association was allowed to take possession of a large amount of glass produced by the glassworks, which formed the bases for the excellent glass museum that exists today.
In 1981 Skruf Glassworks was revived when four glass workers took over. Ingegerd Råman, who later went to work for Orrefors, was hired as designer and put her stamp on Skruf’s products. Today the glassworks is owned and operated by a private entrepreneur.
Old glass-cutting works and steam engine building
The long, red wooden building beside the blowing room was built as a glass-cutting works in the same year as the first blowing room, that is, 1897. Many glasses have passed through cutting machines and hands here. Special patterns were inscribed in some. Others may have just had unevenness on the bottom of the glass cut away. Since there was no access to water power here in Skruv, the glass-cutting blades and machines were operated with the help of power from a large, wood-fired steam engine.
The steam engine building remains, which imparts special cultural-historical value to the glass-cutting works because it is the only one of its kind in the Kingdom of Crystal today. The tall windows and the steam engine were built because electricity, which would provide both light and power, had not yet come to Skruv. The glass-cutting works building survived the fire of 1946 and therefore is the works’ oldest building. The exterior underwent a careful cultural-historical renovation and repainting in 2002.
Today you are welcome to enter the building and look at the excellent glass museum. Take yourself on a fascinating and extraordinary journey. The glass museum is managed on a nonprofit basis by the local history association and has been established with the help of expertise from Smålands Museum in Växjö.