I’ve been wondering what the slash through the “o” in Morsø means. The world’s oldest manufacturer of cast-iron stoves is headquartered on the Danish island of Mors. The “o” with the slash through it means “island”; thus, Morsø means “from the island of Mors.”
Morsø has an intriguing history. Established in 1853, they began manufacturing all sorts of cast-iron products – everything from barn windows to memorial crosses to farm machinery, cooking pots and heating appliances.
Early in the 20th century, Morsø began supplying heating systems to churches, schools, state railways and various ministries. The popular imperial-style stoves found their way into the royal apartments at Amalienborg and several other royal residences, and the company was bestowed the prestigious title of Purveyor to His Majesty the King by King Christian X. In 1969, the title was changed to Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court.
In the mid 1900s, Morsø decided to concentrate on heating appliances, mainly wood-burning stoves; that remains their focus today. Morsø sells 23 models of wood-burning stoves and 3 flush-mount fireplace inserts in 25 countries; its largest market is – you guessed it – Denmark. The company also does a booming business in the U.K., South Africa, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and the U.S.
FROM CLASSIC TO CONTEMPORARY
Morsø stoves range in size from traditional European style stoves that heat 800 sq. ft. to ultra-contemporary stoves that heat 2,400 sq. ft.
The stove pictured above (Morsø 2B classic), was designed in the early 1930s by sculptor Constantin Sørensen, and features Morsø’s well-known squirrel and oak leaves decoration. Today, 80 years later, the 2B Classic is still in great demand, writes Morsø US President Craig Shankster, on the Morsø blog.
All Morsø stoves are cast-iron. The benefits of cast-iron stoves include:
- They don’t warp or deform. Cast iron has a thermal tension, which makes the material especially well suited to changing temperatures.
- Cast iron is highly resistant to burn-through.
- The thickness of the cast iron Morsø uses is nearly twice as thick as a stove made of plate steel, which means their stoves retain heat longer.
- Cast iron distributes heat better than steel, ensuring a comfortable heat.
Green is a way of life in Scandinavia. Morsø wood-burning products meet a minimum 73 percent overall efficiency. That means that any Morsø product you purchase from Rich’s qualifies for the $1,500 biomass stove tax credit. Morsø uses 98 percent recycled cast iron and 100 percent recyclable packaging.
Craig Shankster, who owned a stove shop in England for 12 years and headed up U.K. distribution for Vermont Castings before becoming Morsø US president, is committed to introducing “European ways of doing business” to the U.S. market. That means “selling a lifestyle rather than a product,” he says.
In an article for Hearth & Home (January 2009), Shankster said, “We do not want to be just another contemporary stove. We want to bring European, more modern style to the marketplace that appeals to both existing home owners and young, future homeowners.”
The new 7600 Wood Stove Series (pictured above) designed by renowned Danish artist and designer Monica Ritterband, is a superb example of Morsø’s commitment to quality and European design. With its circular shape, round feminine contours, and huge viewing window, these designer stoves feel elegant and soft, yet they’re constructed with durable recycled cast iron for strength and they incorporate the greenest possible practices from manufacturing to delivery.
Monica Ritterband also designed stunning cast-iron accent accessories to complement the 7600 series (pictured at top of article), including a tea kettle, trivet, firewood holder, and fire tools.
In tomorrow’s post, you’ll “play” in an interactive virtual living room, so you can see how a Morsø stove will look in your own home.