Bjarne Steisvik and Cornelius Bull

The story behind Bulls

This is the story behind our company name, as told by Hjalmar Steinsvik, Chairman Of The Board.

Cornelius Bull was the founder of Cornelius Bulls Presstjänst, later Bulls Presstjänst AB. It is, or was, a good Norwegian name. Cornelius came from a family in Østlandet in Norway. An area populated by many shipowners, captains and businessmen. He was born in Tönsberg, Norway on April 2, 1878 and died in Stockholm, Sweden on 23 March 1931.

Bull was a broker and shipowner by trade. According to Bengt Sjökvist, his accountant and oldest employee, Bull had two ships, and during a coal strike in England he sent them to America to bring back coal. But during this venture, the strike ceased and so his idea failed. The depression in the twenties hit the shipping business very hard and he lost all his means.

The start of Bulls

Bull had travelled around the world twice. He married Laura Norris, a Dane, in New York in 1916 and it was in the USA that he became acquainted with syndication as a business idea. He developed an interest in comic strips and other features, such as the tales of a writer called Frank Crane. He started Cornelius Bulls Presstjänst in Halden, Norway in 1929, together with Bjarne Steinsvik (Hjalmar Steinsvik’s father) and Cornelius’ nephew Einar Wyller, and moved to Sweden that same year.

Cornelius’ father, Henrik Johan Bull, was a well known businessman in Tönsberg, Australia and Kristiania (Oslo). He was the leader of Svend Foyn’s expedition to the Antarctic Ocean in 1893-95, where they became the first people to make a landing on the continent of Antarctica. He wrote a book about it; “The cruise of the Atlantic“. The ship used was later involved in the search after the André expedition.

According to people who knew Cornelius Bull he was a kind and generous person, hence the nickname “hjelposs“ (help us), but also energetic and, one can imagine, somewhat adventurous.

This is the story behind our company name.

HjS 25/3- 2020


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