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Morten Smith Petersen and Hasseldalen: Towards modern shipping

The drive towards modern shipping, the shift in power from master to shipowner, and the transition from sails to steam.

This exhibition is about shipowner Morten Smith Petersen (1817–1872) and his role in the modernisation of the maritime industry.

Morten Smith Petersen was one of the driving forces behind Det Norske Veritas, and a key player in the foundation of Agders Assuranceforening. In addition, he took an active interest in politics at local, regional, and national level, and was a keen advocate of free trade. Morten Smith Petersen purchased the property in Hasseldalen in 1848, and under his management a large number of high-quality sailing ships were built at the shipyard.

The exhibition displays the general characteristics of and developments in shipping from the 1800s to modern times, with particular focus on Aust-Agder. You will learn about the shift in power from master to shipowner, the transition from sails to steam, and numerous other exciting aspects of this period.

Hasseldalen, where the museum is located, can boast 150 years of shipyard and maritime history. Among the vessels built here over the years are large sailing ships, steamships, fishing boats, flatboats, barges, and lifeboats. In its heyday, the shipyard employed 500 people.