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A farming community

A hundred years before the glassworks at Nøstetangen started up, agriculture at Eiker was completely dominated by crown estates and noble manors, where the farmers were tenants. From the end of the 17th century, more and more Eikerbønders became freeholders, and by 1741 the old manors and estates had dissolved - with one important exception: Fossesholm, which was still a large landed estate. The freeholder farmers struggled with debt, but also took advantage of the opportunities that came with the new times.

Homesteads and villages

The population grew, and not everyone owned land. More and more people settled in places where sawmills and other businesses provided work, and towns - so-called "villages" - began to grow. Others settled on scattered homesteads, where they rented a patch of land. At the same time, many were engaged in handicrafts and housework or had paid work in agriculture and forestry, quarrying and driving.

This is how Eiker got a working class long before.

  • The household service

  • The towns are growing

Sawmills, timber trade and industry

The Drammensvassdraget was one of the core areas for sawmilling and timber trade in Norway, and much of this business was concentrated in Eiker. The merchants in Drammen dominated the timber industry, and many of them also owned waterfalls, sawmills and farms on Eiker. Many kinds of industrial activities were also started here. Most of these proprietors - also called the "plankeadel" - did not live permanently at Eiker, but were nevertheless an important part of the local community.

  • The floating in the Drammensvassdraget

  • The water saws

  • Industry before the industrial revolution

  • The plank nobility

Daily life in the 18th century

In 1784, Professor Hans Strøm published "Physical-Economic Description of Eger-Præstegiæld in Aggershuus Foundation in Norway". This is one of the most important sources of knowledge about 18th-century Eiker, but there is also a lot of other material that gives an insight into people's daily lives. Customs lists show which luxury goods were imported, and swap shops list what people owned. The mortgage books tell about real estate, and in the land registers you can read about crime and conflicts. We know something about what people ate and how they dressed, and several buildings from the 18th century still stand on Eiker.

  • Food traditions in the 18th century

  • Salt, sugar and vinegar

  • What did things cost in the 18th century?

  • Coins 18th century

  • Eiker-visen from 1756

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