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Alvøen is one of the oldest industrial places in Norway. As early as the 1620s a gunpowder mill was built here. The place itself was well situated for industrial activity, lying only 100 m from the waterfall, which provided power for the mill, and a good harbour wherefrom the products were shipped. The success of the gun-powder mill varied in the 1600s and 1700s, but what made Alvøen best known was its paper production.
The industrial settlement Bjørsvik
Having passed well over the bridge across to Sotra you pass an industrial plant surrounded by a budding community; the mineral mill of A/S Norwegian Talc. Some of the buildings seem to have been erected in the early part of the 20th century. They are remnants of a grand industrial plant from the former boom time in the country – the economic upswing after WWI.
In 1908 the new power station in Tyssedal was completed. A/S Tyssefaldene provided power for the carbide and cyanide factory that was built in Odda. This signalled a new era.
The farm STAUP lies on a shelf in the terrain above Løno. From the highway E16 it is possible to glimpse the houses through the trees. The farm is without a road, and the old farmyard and the cultural landscape is very well preserved. In the 1980s grants were given to carry out maintenance work with the intention of protecting the houses in the farmyard.
In 1852 Haktor Thorsen erected two large warehouses on one of his farms in Sunde and started trading and salting herring. This was the start of an industrial adventure that made Sunde into one of the first industrial communities in Kvinnherad.