The year was 1853. The place the harsh west coast of Norway. Brimming with optimism the newly educated industrialist Ole Andreas Devold returned from Germany with state of the art mechanical knitting machines. Devold hoped to sell his products; wool underwear, mittens for the fishermen, and a traditional red beanie. But it was difficult to succeed among the local retailers. Accordingly, Devold traveled to the bigger city of Bergen, to sell his goods via the well-established wholesaler Sundt. Sundt sold the wool products back to the local merchants in Ålesund.
With Sundt on board it did not take long before Devold became well known as a brand of quality. After 15 years Devold had heaps of customers, and a few decades later Ole Andreas Devold owned one of the the largest textile factories in Norway.
For several generations, both at sea and on land, Devold has provided well-known polar explorers and hard-working fishermen with woolen products. But to farmers, fishermen, carpenters and everyone else working outdoors in Norway, a tribute such as Ellsworth's letter was unnecessary. These guys were already very aware of “the Devold quality”. Further south in Europe, however, such a document was proof of the Devold brand's sovereignty.