Helge Palmcrantz

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Helge Palmcrantz
Born Helge Palmcrantz
Hammerdal, Sweden
Died 1880 (aged 37–38)
Nationality  Sweden
Occupation Firearms designer

Helge Palmcrantz (1842 – 1880), Swedish inventor and industrialist, was born in Hammerdal, in the province of Jämtland, the son of a captain in the Jämtlands fältjägarregemente. He was enlisted as a cadet in his father's regiment, where he worked on land survey. After a couple of years he left the regiment to study at the Technological Institute of Stockholm (later known as KTH).

In partnership with his brother-in-law, Theodor Winborg, Palmcrantz founded a small but growing factory on Kungsholmen, Stockholm, where they manufactured reaping machines, mowers and other agricultural equipment of their own design.[1]

In 1873 Palmcrantz patented the multi-barrel, lever-actuated, machine gun that would later be known as the Nordenfelt machine-gun after his financial backer, Thorsten Nordenfelt. Palmcrantz met Nordenfelt in 1875 and the latter's company became his British agent. They agreed to market the machine-gun under the then well known Nordenfelt brand. It was Nordenfelt who convinced Palmcrantz to increase the caliber of his gun to one inch, making it a suitable weapon for use against the growing threat of torpedo boats.[2]

After Palmcrantz succumbed to an early death from a bleeding ulcer, Winborg and Nordenfelt continued to develop and manufacture his guns in Sweden, England and Spain.

Helge Palmcrantz has a school named after him; Palmcrantzskolan in Östersund.


  1. ^ "patent 2309". The Commissioners of patents' journal. Great Britain. Patent Office. 1876. p. 2153. 
  2. ^ Smith, Anthony (2004). Machine Gun: The Story of the Men and the Weapon That Changed the Face of War. Macmillan. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-312-93477-4. 

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