The parish of Biri was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 January 1910, the district Snertingdal was divided from Biri to form a municipality of its own, leaving Biri with 2,815 inhabitants. On 1 January 1964, Biri was incorporated into the neighboring municipality of Gjøvik. Prior to the merger, Biri had 3,274 inhabitants.
Biri was the center of several small villages including Biri Øverbygd, Udahlsroa and Klomsteinroa. This has traditionally been an agricultural and forestry community. The village of Biri had a population of 1,389 inhabitants as of 1 January 2009. It is located at Mjøsa Bridge on the west side of Mjøsa lake, between Lillehammer and Gjøvik. The Vismunda river, which drains into Mjøsa, has been an important lifeline.
Biri church (Biri kirke) is a cruciform church dating from 1777. Built of timber, it has 450 seats. The church was erected after the original church burned down. In 1890 there was another major fire, this time at the Biri parsonage. The fire also destroyed church records for 1789-1814 and 1854-1877. In April 2007, major damage in the church led to an extensive rehabilitation.
Biri Glassworks produced layer glass, windows and bottles. Production started in 1764 after it was created by Royal Norwegian charter. The operation went bankrupt in 1843 but was rebuilt in 1855. In the 1880s, it was closed.
Madshus is a Norwegian ski and ski-equipment manufacturer which is located at Biri. The first Madshus ski were produced by Martin Madshus in 1906 in a barn in Vardal near Gjøvik. The company was moved to Lillehammer in 1936, and then to Biri in 1972.
The Norse form of the name was Biríð. The name is probably very old, and the meaning is unknown.
- Torbjørn Løkken, combined skier skiing
- Gunnar Kalrasten, parliamentary representative of Norwegian Labour Party
- Dag Jukvam / Statistics Norway (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF).
- Statistics Norway (2006). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality. 1 January 2006".
- Biri Glassverk (Ekstraskatt for Biri Glasfabriqu)
- About Madshus (Madshus)
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