The trading firm of C. Fr. Wærn was founded during the Napoleonic Wars in 1813. It was successful from the start and already in 1815, C. Fr. Wærn himself sailed on his own ship with a cargo of timber to London making a good profit.
After the war, several firms in Europe were ruined. Wærn, who was venturesome but cautious, moved after 10 years residence in Gothenburg to his native place in the province Dalsland and took over the Baldernäs estate, the Bäckefors and Billingsfors ironworks and a couple of sawmills.
Their products were then sold and exported by his firm in Gothenburg. He established a market for his iron and steel in both England and America and the products were soon well known.
The firm does not restrict itself to selling goods from its own works, but also acts as selling agents for other works. 1844 Wærn´s oldest son, Carl Fr. Wærn jr, becomes a member of the firm and in1852 the name is being changed to C. Fr. Wærn & Co. The works have been operating under difficulties since 1860 and in 1880 they have practically ceased to exist as ironworks. They were too small and located too far away from the mines. However, the Company manages to survive on its own and takes part in building up new industries in place of the old ones. Soon the production of woodpulp and paper succeeds the manufacturing of iron. The Company was successful in introducing these new products and teaches the foreign customers that paper can be made from wood and gradually they were selling paper over nearly the whole world.
The time had changed, railways were built and telephones had been installed. Intermediate storage was no longer needed in the same way and mill after mill began to export their products themselves. After 100 years the Company was forced to seek partially new ways. The readjustments required many years to accomplish, but the firm made steady progress and found new markets in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, India and other countries. The most important products at that time were paper, paper board, pulp, timber and printed paper articles.
1927 the firm was converted into a limited stock company and Arne C. Wærn was managing director of Aktiebolaget C. Fr. Wærn & Co. During the post-war period he started an import department for various consumer products along with the existing export of forest products. Export trading was also expanded into new fields like machinery and tools.
In 1990 the Company’s old warehouses in Gothenburg were converted into the modern self-storage facility Humlans Minilager. This has now become an important spin-off activity from the trading company with 8 facilities altogether.
Carl Fr. Waern, being the sixth generation, is today managing director and CEO.