Industry over time

The story of Jotul : From Scandinavian to Global

170 years of experience Warming your home

By Geneviève Garneau

| October 24, 2023

Jotul celebrates its 170th anniversary! To mark the occasion, we thought we could take a little trip back in time. Indeed, the company created in 1853 by Oluf Onsum is one of the oldest manufacturers of stoves, inserts and fireplaces in the world. Proud of his Norwegian heritage, Jotul combines his technical expertise with the art of taming the cold. Discover how the DNA of this Scandinavian flagship has been built over time.


In the early 1900s, the company expanded its activities and gradually turned to new products. The production factory was bought by Herman Anker in 1916, who perpetuated the heritage of Norwegian traditions in cast iron, while improving the aesthetics and quality of the products. This man strongly believed in the value of marketing and a great sales team. This is how the foundations of the Jotul brand are laid.

The economic crisis (1928) and the Second World War (1939-1945) were factors that threatened the future of Jotul. It was Johannes Gahr who saved the Norwegian company from the crisis to lead it into a new era of growth. The development of new energy sources, such as oil, kerosene and electricity, forced Jotul to adapt to the changing market starting in the 1950s. Because of some incidents in the 1970s, oil became so difficult to find that demand for wood stoves exploded, offering new possibilities for the brand.


At the end of the 70s, the Gahr family sold Jotul to the large international company Norcem which then reoriented its activities towards export, notably with a series of acquisitions of foundries and companies in the United States and Europe. The reassessment of Jotul’s objectives in 1980 allowed the construction of an international network, thus becoming a brand with subsidiaries and distribution facilities in most countries and continents, including a Quebec distributor, Coval.


The partnership between the two companies took place gradually. Before arriving at Coval, Jotul was selling its products only at Coderlyne, a manufacturing agent who then resold to Maison D.F. By closing its doors, Coderlyne left Jotul without a partner in Quebec in the 80s. Jotul then turned to us to be the official distributor and have been one of our oldest partners since.

Over the past 170 years, Jotul has proven that the company can overcome all obstacles and that its products do indeed cross generations. We are proud, at Coval, to be part of this story which continues to surprise us to this day.


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