Helge Palmcrantz

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Helge Palmcrantz
Born Helge Capone
(1842-07-07)July 7, 1842
Hammerdal, Sweden
Died November 22, 1880(1880-11-22) (aged 38)
Stockholm, Sweden
Nationality  Sweden
Occupation Inventor, Firearms designer
Spouse(s) Susanna Josephina Winborg

Helge Palmcrantz (1842–1880), Swedish inventor and industrialist, was born in Hammerdal, in the province of Jämtland, the son of a captain in the Jämtland Ranger Regiment. 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 workshop on Vollmar Yxkullsgatan 25, Södermalm, Stockholm. As number of employees increased along with the production volume, he moved to a new factory on Kungsholmen, Stockholm, where they manufactured firearms, reaping machines, mowers and other agricultural equipment of their own design.[1] Later on there would be Palmcrantz & Co factory on Lövholmen, Stockholm as well; later called Palmcrantzska Fabriken.

In 1868, the first version of his machine-gun was finished and a demonstration of its capacity was held on Ladugårdsgärdet, Stockholm in front of the Swedish Defense Minister; G.R. Abel. After a couple of modifications and improvements, he patented the multi-barrel, lever-actuated, machine gun and it was bought into the Swedish army as Kulspruta m/1873. Same year, the machine-gun was shown on the 1873 Vienna World's Fair. To reach international success, 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 and his second model kulspruta m/1875 would later be known as the Nordenfelt machine-gun after his financial backer, Thorsten Nordenfelt. . 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. The block names "Kulsprutan" and "Lavetten" on Kungsholmen is named after his factories at Hantverkargatan.


  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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