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Karl Marius Anton Johan Hals (27 April 1822 – 7 September 1898) was a Norwegian businessperson and politician for the Conservative Party.

He was born in Sørum as the son of colonel and customs inspector Caspar Andreas Hals. When his father was appointed customs inspector in Christiania in 1828, the family moved there.[1] Together with his brother Petter Hals, who was one year younger,[2] he took a carpenter's education between 1840 and 1842. After this, Karl Hals spent time in Copenhagen and Hamburg to learn the skill of piano building. He then returned to Christiania to found the piano factory Brødrene Hals (The Hals Brothers) in 1847 together with his brother.[1]

Originally they employed only one person; in 1866 this number had risen to 36.[3] They production facilities were moved around in the early years,[2] eventually settling at the site of the later Hotel Continental.[3] His brother died in 1871, however Karl Hals had several sons and grandsons who became involved in the company as managers and owners. By 1897, a year before the death of Karl Hals, the company peaked at 100 employees.[2] It delivered pianos not only to Scandinavian customers, but also to the United States and Australia.[1] One piano is on exhibit in the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology.[4] From 1887 to 1908 the company also ran a music store and a concert bureau.[3]

Hals was the chairman of the employers' organisation Den Norske Haandvaerks- og Industriforening, Christiania from 1878 to 1897.[1] In addition he was elected to the Norwegian Parliament in 1889, representing the constituency of Kristiania, Hønefoss og Kongsvinger. He only served one term.[5]

Hals was proclaimed Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1874, and in 1889 he was upgraded to Commander of the same order. He was also Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog as well as Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur.[1]

A daughter of his, named Marie, married the musician Ole Olsen.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Antonsen, Jack-Morris (2004). "Den Norske Haandvaerks- og Industriforening i Christiania" (PDF). Svensk numismatisk tidsskrift (8): 176–178. Retrieved 2008-10-05.  
  2. ^ a b c Norwegian piano factories
  3. ^ a b c Brødrene Hals
  4. ^ Item of the month: Piano from Brødrene Hals, ca. 1850 –
  5. ^ Karl Marius Anton Johan Hals – Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD)
  6. ^ Ole Olsen biography at the Music Information Centre, Norway


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