Lars Olsson Smith
Lars Olsson Smith (12 October 1836 – 9 December 1913), also L.O. Smith, was a Swedish spirits manufacturer and politician. He was called "The King of Spirits" (Brännvinskungen) because of his domination of spirits production in Stockholm during the end of the 19th century. He started the production of Absolut Rent Brännvin which was later renamed Absolut Vodka.
At the age of 8, Lars Olsson Smith got a position in a general store in Karlshamn after his father's bankruptcy and was so well treated by his foster father consul Carl Smith that he took the name Smith. From 1850, he had employment in Stockholm first in the general store, then with a shipping agent. In 1858, he established an agency for a number of distilleries in Scania and Blekinge as well as a modern facility on Reimersholme. The distilleries Smith installed there made him rich by producing spirits with an unusually low fusel alcohol value. The most well known was the tiodubblat renat ('ten times purified') which ran the communal distilleries out of business. As a result the city of Stockholm tried to hamper his success. Smith however was a shrewd and resourceful businessman, placing the distillery on Reimersholme outside the city limits. He sold his products from the Fjäderholm Islands where he had boats commuting to serve purified spirits to the people of Stockholm.
Most importantly Smith refined spirits and until the Reimersholme factory was closed the same spirits columns were used to create the fine spirits of today.
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