The paddle steamer "Skibladner"

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The paddle steamer "Skibladner" sails on Mjøsa, the biggest lake in this country. It was built in 1856 and was originally used as an extension of the railway from Eidsvoll to Lillehammer. (The first railway from Christiania (now Oslo) to Eidsvoll was completed in 1854.) "Skibladner" still transports tourists on our biggest lake Mjøsa and on its outlet river Vorma during the summer season, and it is therefore the oldest operating paddle steamer (or paddle wheeler to our friends across the Pond) in the world. But, to tell the truth, the steam engine has been replace by a diesel engine, so it's not a steamer any more. It is now stationed in Gjøvik where this picture was taken, that's midway, and three days of the week it sails south to Eidsvoll and back, and three days it sails north to Lillehammer, always docking in Hamar across the lake from Gjøvik.

Skibladner in 1956

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"The White svan of Mjøsa", "Skibladner" docking in the river Vorma at the Eidsvoll train station in 1956. Notice the logs; lumber was still transported by floating down rivers. Also, notice the sailor in front of the paddle wheel, it might not be discernible, but he is using a boat hook to prevent logs from getting into the wheel.

Skibladner at Minnesund

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"Skibladner" used to spend the winters on the water at Minnesund, that's where the water in the lake Mjøsa flows slowly into the river Vorma, and it did end up on the bottom a couple of times. Now the old lady is towed into a nice shelter in Gjøvik before Mjøsa freezes over. The picture also shows the train Trondheim–Oslo. Those days the road bridge was mounted on both sides of the railway bridge and it did wobble a bit. Now there are two separate road bridges here.
(1954 or 1955)


We – students soon to leave the Eidsvoll college (Eidsvoll offentlige landsgymnas) – celebrated Skibladner's 100 years anniversary in our Constitution Day procession. I can't remember who else did.

150 years anniversary stamp 2006

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