The true story about a Daredevil
who became a Trademark for
S
afety Matches.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The cadet school and the young Peter Jansen Wessel was quickly shown, as two incompatible natures. He was therefore at a very young age, sent at sea
"to pass the test"

That this wild kid 10 years later should be vise-admiral and honored, no one had imagined.
By the time Peter Wessel was honored, and given the name Tordenskiold, his friends from school, had just made it to Lieutenants.
   
   
   
We don't know much about his childhood, but few undocumented stories tells us, that he was made from solid stuff.
He was born 28 th of October 1690 in Trondheim in Norway, nr 13 out of 18 kids. We hear about him the first time from the cadet school in Copenhagen.
He is at that time 13 years old, but he was first discovered at the age of 19.
In between he was sailing on the ship Christianus Qvintus, a slave transport
on Danish West India and Danish Guinea. After that he came back to Denmark, and was ready to take part in "The great Nordic war" 1709-1720.
    The Danish slave ship Christianus Qvintus.
Earlier under the command of Niels Juel in the battle of "Køge Bugt"
1th of July 1677
     
       
       
 
1712
Peter Wessel is promoted
to commander on
Løvendahls Gallej
(22 y.o)
 
       
       
He did participate in
the sea battle at Femern
24 th of April 1715
and conquered the frigate
Hvide Ørn (White Eagle)
 
   
   
   
24 th of February 1716 the young
Captain Peter Wessel was
honored and given the igniting name
Tordenskiold (Thundershield)
(26 y.o)
 
Tordenskiold´s
coat of arms
 
   
   
3 years later, the 17 th of august 1719 he was promoted to
Vise-admiral, after the conquest of "Marstrand" and the
fortification "Karlsten" (25 th of July 1719)
One of many battles, he had with the Swedes
(29 y.o)
     
Tordenskiold (In Red)
in Marstrand. Talking to the Swedish commander, after beating him.
       
       
       
     
 
 
  He dies in Germany the 12 of November 1720
in a duel, with the Swedish Colone
Staël Von Holstein.
He was when he died, only 30 years old.
 
       
       
       
       
Because it was not allowed Danes to duel, he was transportatet very discreetly home in a simple coffin.
He was placed in the Holmens Church in Copenhagen,
and remained there, until 17 th of July 1819
where King Frederik VI ordered him
placed in a nice black marble sarcophagus,
where he remains to day.
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
And believe it or not, it´s all truth, and much more to it. As a matter of facts, the story tell´s us, that nearly everything told about Tordenskiold is truth.

Anyway, Peter Jannsen Wessel or Tordenskiold does not need much introduction for a Dane or Norwegian. Or a Swede I guess.. He he
Most of us know him, from matchbox labels or from Denners painting from 1719, witch is the original, to the picture on the matchbox labels.
(Original on top of this page).

But on the regional archives, we do have another picture of the sea hero.
A caricature has sneaked it´s way into the Parish register, from
Bremerholms-or Holmens Parish.



   
This caricature is to be found, in the back of the book,
over new born children 1685-94. It is drawn with pencil
and it says P. Væsel (Weasel) on the top.

How can it be that the drawing has endet in the Parish register?
And is "Væsel" a misspelling, or has a anonymous artist misspelled by porpoise ?

Any way, why choose Tordenskjold as a trademark ?
The year is 1865 and Denmark had just lost a war to
Germany, and by that, the southern part of the country.
I think He was the right guy, at the right time, and the
danes needed something nice to think about.
That might be one of the reasons.
     


 
 
 
 
 
But here He is
 
 
 
 
Tordenskiold appears for the first time on a matchbox from
A. Sørensen-Ludv. Hintze´s efterfølger
later H. E. Gosh & Co.
 

And all the rest is just history.

 
 
This is how he looks to day 2007
Still in production, no longer in Denmark, but in Sweden !!!

 

 

  Here you can see some of my collection of Tordenskjold labels,
and how little the design actually changes through the times.
My collection is for sure not complete, and this is just a part of it.
They are not sitting in succession ( I think!!), because my references is
too bad, to make that possible. It can be very small things,
that makes the different.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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       Number  
Size    
 Why Tordenskjold on Matchbox Labels
25
Between 25x40 and 36x37 mm 
 The adventures of Tordenskiold
5
c  35x40 mm 
 Ships
6
 c  35x50 mm 
 Mixed
 8 
  c  35x50 mm 
 Fish
12
c  35x50 mm 
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14
c  35x50 mm 
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16
Between 50x35 and 55x35 mm 
 Export II
13
Between 56x35 and 54x32 mm 
 H. C. Andersen Illustrations
15
c  35x50 mm 
 H. C. Andersen papercut
4
c  35x50 mm 
 Flower Puzzle
4
c  35x50 mm 
 Commercials from Knud Jensen
100
c  35x50 mm 
 Illegal from World War II
2
c  37x53 mm 
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12
c  35x50 mm 
 Tourist set from H.E. Gosch & CO
8
c  50x33 mm 
 DSB 125 years anniverasy
25
c  50x32 mm 
 Mylius Erichsens Danmark Expedition
2
c  57x35 mm 
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7
c  52x35 mm 
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9
c  52x34 mm 
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6
c  33x50 mm 
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26
c  40x25 mm