The Swedish wooden yo-yo, turned in one piece since 1932! The word yo-yo probably comes from the French word “jouet”, which means toy. The yo-yo has a very long history and was first mentioned in Greece about 500 years B.C.
The story of the yo-yo according to Elfverson & Co
The story begins in 1926 in England, where Gösta Elfverson started a company to import and sell Swedish glass. At some point he got a yo-yo and he came up with the idea to manufacture one in wood at his brother Olof Elfverson’s factory in Sweden. That factory was Elfverson & Co. To begin with, wooden yo-yos were made in parts that were glued together, but a few years later, the then foreman Ivan Pettersson managed to invent a way to produce the yo-yos into one piece. That is how Kalmartrissan was born, the Swedish yo-yo that has been manufactured in much the same way since 1932!
The Kalmartrissan is a wooden yo-yo, manufactured in one piece in Sweden since 1932. Nowadays, the yo-yo has a hot-foiled print of Kalmar Castle on one side. In the beginning, the print was pad-printed and the logo was different. To increase the quality, the logo was changed so that it could be hot-foiled print. In order to do that, the yo-yo was flattened to improve the pressure.
The first yo-yos had a 1.7 mm gap, as the strings were thinner than those sold today. This facilitated the use for beginners, but at the same time it became a little harder to do tricks. The gap was changed to 2.2 mm when the yo-yo was redone. For many years, the yo-yo were made in the same way.
Over the years, the company received letters from the United States saying that the yo-yo was very popular in competitions, but that enthusiasts sanded the gap of the yo-yo to make it bigger. Due to this, in 1999 the gap was enlarged to 2.8 mm. Kalmartrissan is still a favorite among beginners but also among those who compete.
The Kalmartrissan Today
About 20,000 Kalmartrissan yo-yos are manufactured per year, compared with the 70s when we made just over 1 million yo-yos just for Parker Bros. in Canada during one year.
The Kalmartrissan became known as ”The Sweden Yo-Yo” in the USA and Canada because it said Sweden on the back. Elfverson made yo-yos for other companies with different logos in these countries. These included Cheerio, Olympics and Pros in Canada, and Royal and Duncan in the United States.
Today, almost nothing of the production is exported, but we have a customer in the US who buys smaller quantities.