1896: Ore by rail became Gränges

When Gränges was formed in 1896, it had its roots in two activities: railways and mines. Trafik AB Grängesberg-Oxelösund (TGO) was founded at a constituent board meeting in the Stockholm Stock Exchange in the summer of 1896. The company took over shares in several companies owned by The Swedish Association, including three railway lines and shares in Grängesberg's mine. Railway construction was at this time one of the most interesting investment objects, and for these investors it therefore became increasingly important to fill the train carriages. Swedish iron ore thus became of great interest. At the same time, foreign ownership became a sensitive political issue. About half of the Swedish railways were owned by foreign investors in the 1880s. For Gränges, this could be overcome by appointing Oscar Robert Themptander as the company's first CEO. He had previously been Sweden's Prime Minister and Governor of Stockholm and thus acted as a political guarantor. Ernest Cassel, together with Carl Fredrik Liljevalch Jr and Vollrath Tham, are said to be the people who founded Grängesbergsbolaget.

Image: Kiirunavaara was one of the world's largest known cohesive bodies of iron ore when it began to be mined in the 1890s. Image from the Railway Museum.