HENRIKSEN, HENRIK NICOLAI

1866 - 1925 from Norway


Norwegian whaling manager, was born at Nedre Råel (in Slagen outside Tønsberg), the son of a blacksmith, Henrik Henriksen, who set up a workshop there in 1856 and specialised in harpoons and machinery for the developing Norwegian whaling industry. The company, H Henriksen Mek Verksted, was later moved into Tønsberg.

The younger Henriksen was recruited by Christian Salvesen & Co as an engineer in 1902 to set up their operations in Iceland, the Faroes and Shetland. In 1908 he built their whaling station at New Island in the Falklands and in 1909 the Leith Harbour station in South Georgia. His family company, H Henriksen Mek Verksted provided the plans and much of the machinery for Leith Harbour

Henriksen was station manager at Leith from 1909 to 1921, steering its operation through the troubled and uncertain times of World War I with inadequate and sometimes mutinous crews. He must have been a remarkable man. It requires no mean ability to set up and work a station with all its processing machinery, tanks, boilers and living quarters on a bare beach at the end of the world. H Henriksen Mek Verksted continued to supply the whaling companies with harpoons and grenades and is still a prosperous engineering company in Tønsberg, led by descendants of the founder.

Authors

Gerald Elliot