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Mustad Fishing (O. Mustad & Søn A.S.) is a Norwegian company that manufactures and sells fishing tackle and accessories since 1877. The Mustad product range includes fish hooks, multifilament and monofilament fishing lines, fishing lures, fishing flies, fly hooks, terminal tackle and fishing apparel. The corporate headquarters are in Gjøvik, Norway.

Mustad Fishing
Native name
O. Mustad & Søn AS
IndustryFishing tackle
FounderHans Skikkelstad
HeadquartersGjøvik, Norway
Key people
John Are Lindstad, CEO Hans Mustad, Notable Owner
ProductsFish hooks
Fishing lines
Terminal tackle
Fishing flies
WebsiteOfficial Website



Hans Mustad (1837–1918)

Mustad can trace its roots back to 1832 in Vardal. Hans Schikkelstad (1789–1843), a farmer, established the factory "Brusveen Spiger- og Staltradfabrikk" for the production of nails, steel wire and various metal products. Later, Skikkelstad's son-in-law Ole Hovelsen Mustad (1810–84), took over the company with his son Hans Mustad (1837–1918) and changed its name to "O. Mustad" and later "O. Mustad & Søn".[1] The company was headquartered in the small village of Gjøvik (Norway), an area with poor infrastructures where transportation was an obstacle to most type of supplies.[2][3][4]

In spite of the negative conditions and the pessimistic visions of the Norwegian Department of Interior ("The difficulty in competing with foreign factories means that industry will never succeed in this country"[5]), by 1860 Ole Mustad led his company to a primary position in the production of small metal products like fencing wire, nails, pins, fish hooks, horseshoe nails, shipbuilding nails, paper clips, thumb tacks and a series of other metallic wire-based products. By refining and industrializing the manual production of fish hooks in 1877, the company managed to become a global market leader in just a few years.


The growth and successes of the 1870s were followed by recession, mirroring the overall European crisis. The stagnation of the building activities resulted in a decreasing demand for nails. Hans Mustad, who in the meantime had taken the management over, experienced a very critical time which brought him to the suspension of all payments in 1879. Fear took hold of creditors and employees, as so many other companies had gone bankrupt in the same period. Employees continued working without payment for 2 years. They received "Mustad banknotes" instead: the notes acted as written acknowledgments from Mustad and were accepted by shops in Gjøvik. The whole debt including interests was paid back by July 1882 and all creditors got their check.[6] Since then, the company assumed wider responsibilities over employees and their families: children were provided schools and several recreational and welfare activities were offered. Hans Mustad's social disposition attracted attention of the press that started visiting the factory premises and its schools, band, choir, library and shop.

International developmentEdit

These years were also crucial for the international development of the company. The obstacles at the time were mainly protectionism and tariffs: [7] the decision was taken to start production within the international markets with the biggest potential. A nail factory was established in Finland in 1886, shortly followed by horseshoe nail factories in France (Duclair, 1891) and Sweden (Dalsland, 1898). Just before World War I, Europe consisted of five great powers (the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia), plus another two nations were large consumers of horseshoe nails (Italy and Spain). In 1913 Mustad was established in all of them with the exception of Russia. Localisation criteria for the plants were mainly the access to energy, raw materials and transportation. The Swedish facility is still active and nowadays it is the major horseshoe nails supplier within the Mustad Hoofcare division.

Family ownershipEdit

Ole Hovelsen Mustad died in 1884, leaving Hans Mustad as the single owner. His five sons became co-owners in 1905. These were Ole Mustad, Jr. (1870–1954), Hans Clarin Hovind Mustad (1871–1948), Halfdan Magnus Mustad (1874–1967), Wilhelm Martin Christie Mustad (1877–1961) and Nicolai Christian Mustad (1878–1970).

Mustad & Søn AS factory in Gjøvik, Norway

Post War and diversificationEdit

The decentralized strategic approach proved very effective for Mustad when - after World War II - the company lost all its factories behind the iron curtain, including about 8,000 employees. The independent structures survived the war and grew rapidly to new successes.

Mustad Margarine ad from 1905

In the second half of the 20th century Mustad has increasingly diversified its interests into many different businesses, mostly based upon metallic wire, but also expanding into food and machinery: paper clips (of which Mustad turned out 70 million pieces a year), mattress springs, zippers, screws, margarine (which was produced for over 100 years and discontinued only in 1996), machines for the paper industry and for the manufacturing of boxes.

Mustad has expanded from their core business of manufacturing hooks and terminal tackle to a varied range of other fishing accessories.

The company has established sales offices in Auburn, NY and Miami, FL (USA), Porto Alegre (Brazil), Cape Town (South Africa), Singapore and Wuxi (China), and has production facilities in Norway, China, Singapore, Portugal, Malaysia and the Philippines. Mustad’s products are present in more than 160 countries.

The company was run by the 6th generation Mustad until the end of 2011, when Mustad was sold to the Norwegian-based investment company, NLI Utvikling (now ARD Group AS).[8][9][10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Mustad & Søn AS, O.". Aschehoug og Gyldendals Store norske leksikon. Kunnskapsforlaget. 2007.
  2. ^ "Hans Schikkelstad". Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Arnljot Strømme Svendsen. "Ole Mustad". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Arnljot Strømme Svendsen. "Hans Mustad". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Terje Paulsberg, "Mustad - Fish Hooks for the World"; Alfa Forlag AS, 2007
  6. ^ Terje Paulsberg, "Mustad - Fish Hooks for the World"; Alfa Forlag AS, 2007
  7. ^ A. Tena, 2007; Tariff Structure and Institutions in the Late 19th Century. New Perspectives on the Tariff Growth Paradox (Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen)
  8. ^ Mustad Hooks to be Bought by Norwegian Investment (November 28, 2011.
  9. ^ "NLI Utvikling". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  10. ^ "Company history". ARD Group AS. Retrieved July 1, 2017.