Ninni Kronberg conquers the powdered milk world

Yes, I know, another Swedish inventor, but hey, I’m Swedish and I want to toot our own horn sometimes. We are pretty bad at that but I generally have no trouble doing so, so why not. I know it’s not very jantelag1 of me but I don’t really care.

This week I want to introduce you to a woman whose patent laid the foundation for the company Semper AB. Maria Johanna (Ninni) Kronberg (1874- 1949) was a Swedish inventor and self-taught physiologist in nutrition born in Gävle. Her education was mostly handled by guvernants and she never got a studentexamen (a university entrance examination that doesn’t exist today). At age 22 she married a wholesale merchant and 1919 the pair discovered a new way to make yeast that they patented. Ninni’s husband was also a partner in a local malt house and she was active in the business together with her husband. The business, and the marriage, failed and they separated 1922 (the divorce was finalized 1925). After the divorce Ninni moved to a friend whose husband was consul Wilhem Westrup on Rydsgårds gods (Rydsgård manor) in Skåne, and it was there that her career really took off.

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