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Iðnaðarsafn Industry Museum

The Iðnaðarsafn Industry Musem, in Akureyri, is a fascinating place to find out about Iceland’s manufacturing and industrial past.


Iceland had a strong local manufacturing industry. That was before the globalisation of manufacturing and the rise of cheaper imports almost destroyed it.

Weaving mittens and socks
Automatic fishing lines
What are these for? (answer at the end of the page)


Patten Press
Letterpress typesetting
Hickok bookbinding press
Old newspaper printing press
Newer newspaper printing press
Intertype typesetter
Intertype Keyboard

The Icelandic language is derived from Old Norse, and still retains many features such as the letters “eth” ð and “thorn” Þ. So their printing equipment had these extra letters.

Notice the Icelandic letter: ð

Icelandic is the only living language to still use the thorn (Þ) letter.

Middle English used the thorn letter, with it pronounced like “th”. Since the 14th century it was gradually replaced by the digraph “th”. So the spelling of “Þe” and “Þt” became today’s “the” and “that”. The demise of Þ was greatly accelerated by 15th century technology: the newly invented movable type from Germany did not have the letter Þ, so printers replaced Þ with the letter y. Which is why archaic forms such as “ye olde curiosite shoppe” should be pronunced “the” and not yee. Another example is “hear ye” which really represents “hear Þe” or “hear thee”, which means “hear you”.

Notice the Icelandic letter: Þ

Digital typesetting

Computer typesetting system
Harris 1100 computer terminal
CRTronic 340 Linotype
Harris Fototronic Txt
Harris paper tape reader
Photographic film output
Spools for the photographic film



Icelandic IBM
IBM Keyboard with the Icelandic letters: Ð and Þ


Wang computer terminal
Wang Keyboard with the Icelandic letters: Ð and Þ

Answer: claws for attaching onto shoes to climb power and telephone poles.

See also

External links

Industry Museum
Official Website of the museum.