Two Nordic Starting Points
In Sweden, the company Umeå Mekaniska was founded by Lennart Bergholm in Umeå, 700 km north of Stockholm, in a region characterized by a strong forestry and product development tradition. Umeå Mekaniska’s special interest in solutions for mechanizing manual industrial work for enhanced safety and productivity. After initially helping SCA with lifting equipment for the paper industry, Umeå Mekaniska got the assignment to try to make the work of logging easier. The result: Skruven – A unique slash-bundler concept and the first important step in mechanized logging. In Finland, the state-owned Valmet’s tractor division in Tourula in the north east part of the country, spearheaded by the legendary engineer Olavi Sipilä was selected by the Brazilian government to produce tractors for the South American market.
Together these two parts of what will become todays Komatsu Forest started a rumor in the machine industry: There is something special about the Nordic machine know-how…
The same year:
• January 30 – President John F. Kennedy delivers his first State of the Union Address
• April 12 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space.
• October 12 – The death penalty is abolished in New Zealand.
..and "Barbie" gets a boyfriend when the "Ken" doll is introduced.