Johan Daniel Steen

One of the founders of the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Johan Steen was a richly endowed man with a great work potential. He was for many years the most prominent representative of Christiania’s trading class and was a member of the boards of its various organizations. As co-owner of trading company Steen & Strøm he was instrumental in developing Norway's first modern department store along international lines.

In 1879 he joined the firm Steen & Strøm (founded in 1797), led by his father and Christian Strøm. When his father died in 1884, Johan, along with his brother Christian, became co-owner of the company.

Now the business began to introduce itself and its goods in a new way - through advertisements in the press, on firewood and advertising columns. In 1890 Steen & Strøm published its first catalogue. The modern and demanding marketing had begun. In 1898 the building underwent major changes, got electric power and elevator, and the typewriter was put into use at the offices. Eventually Steen & Strøm emerged as the country's largest magazine - a number of specialty stores under one roof and a management.

It was not just within his own business that Steen put lasting traces. His interest in trade traditions and his desire to develop trading opportunities led him to leadership positions within its organizations. He was one of the founders of the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, its chairman from 1919 to 1921 and later an honorary member of the CCFN.



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