Christopher Polhem Krona

Christopher Polhem (1661-1751)

“A kingdom without economy, commerce and manufacturing is like a person without body, feet, and hands; and, these without mechanics, physics and mathematics are like a person without life, memory, and understanding.”


In 2011, the Sveriges Riksbank issued Swedish Krona banknotes in 10 different denominations, including a 500 Swedish Krona banknote. Christopher Polhammer, better known as Christopher Polhem, is represented on the 500 Swedish Krona, with King Carl XI of Sweden on the other side. Christopher Polhem was a Swedish scientist, inventor and industrialist. He made significant contributions to the economic and industrial development of Sweden. He devised water-powered machinery that mechanized operations at the great Falun copper mine. In 1704, he built a factory in Stjaernsund that used division of labor, hoists, and conveyer belts to minimize manual work; an early kind of automation that anticipated mass-production techniques later adopted in America and England.