On a frosty December day 111 years ago, Hydro – the biggest commercial company in Norway – was established.

Hydro has grown considerably from its humble beginnings in the heart of Telemark, approximately 100 kilometers from Oslo. Today it is a global company spanning 40 countries and 13,000 employees.

“Norsk hydro-elektrisk Kvælstofaktieselskab” was born December 2, 1905, during a meeting of company founder Sam Eyde and foreign investors.
The idea was to harness the power of waterfalls above Rjukan to drive production of nitrogen fertilizer. Over the decades, the company went on to a number of other industries: oil and gas exploration, petrochemicals – even farmed salmon. And yes, aluminium.

To get the whole story, see this fascinating history written for the company’s 110th anniversary in 2015: “Congratulations, Hydro! Progress of a different nature for 110 years”