Iver Johnson (born Ivar Jonsen Floe) was a Norwegian-born American gunsmith and designer who founded and worked for Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works, Inc.
History[edit | edit source]
Born Ivar Jonsen Floe in Innvik (today known as Stryn), Jonsen was initially apprenticed as a gunsmith in Bergen and had a gun shop in Oslo. He moved to the United States in 1863 at the height of the American Civil War and settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, where he worked mainly as a gunsmith and as an inventor on the side. He then married Mary Elizabeth Speirs in 1868, with whom he had five children; three sons, Frederick Iver, John Lovell and Walter Olof, and two daughters, Mary Louise and Nettie B., the latter of whom died at a young age.
Jonsen would later anglicize his name to become Iver Johnson some time after settling, and set up a company with Martin Bye known as Johnson Bye & Company. Here, he spent time designing revolvers with Bye. He took sole ownership of the company in 1883 when he purchased Bye's interest in the firm, renaming it Iver Johnson & Company; he expanded company production to include bicycles in 1891, renaming the company to Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works, Inc. He would die of tuberculosis in 1895, aged 54; he was survived by his wife, sons and one daughter.
Works[edit | edit source]
Johnson was known for the development of his revolvers, particularly the Safety Automatic series of revolvers.