Forgot your password? Click here.


Everyone has a story and in this year we are going to review our unique history as a
120 years old company. Piece by piece we all are going to learn a bit more about Merivaara.


1901 The story of Merivaara begins

Two young blacksmiths Juho Sjöstedt, later Merivaara and Richard Polsa establish Helsinki New Iron Bed Factory, Polsa & Sjöstedt in a stone shed in Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, on 8 November 1901. The new company has four employees. Juho Sjöstedt is only 23 years old, Richard Polsa 33 years old. In the beginning, production is limited to iron beds and all kind of forge work.


1903 High-quality products bring new customers

Customers appreciate Polsa & Sjöstedt’s high-quality products and stone shed expands from a workshop to a factory and moves to new premises in Helsinki, Finland.


1906 Juho Sjöstedt changes his name to
Juho Merivaara, first public award received

The national awakening of Finns means that many change their originally Swedish last name into Finnish language. Juho Sjöstedt becomes Juho Merivaara and the company’s name is changed to Polsa & Merivaara.

The company wins the second prize in an industrial exhibition in Finland for its iron bed.

1908 Juho Merivaara becomes
the sole owner of the company 

Juho Merivaara buys Richard Polsa’s share of the company for 24 000 golden marks. 

Products are again awarded in an industrial exhibition in Finland. 


1909 Satisfied customers bring more business 

The company is growing fast and employs already about 60 people. Good quality and satisfied customers are the reasons for the growth. 


1910 The first operating table comes out from production 

Merivaara follows carefully the emerging industrial development in Finland and starts producing hospital furnitureThe first operating tables are manufactured. 

The sales network is expandedstores are established in Terijoki and St. Petersburgrepresentation in Tallinn. 

1911 Products are awarded again 

Products receive an award in an industrial exhibition in Finland. 


1913 First price in an exhibition in Tallinn 

Products receive the first prize in an exhibition in Tallinn. The company has already 78 employees and the value of the production is respectable 614.000 marks. 


1917 Own factory built 

The own factory building is completed in Helsinki the same year that Finland becomes independent. The company has now over 100 employees. 


1923 Merivaara becomes a limited liability company 

Corporation is formed and registered as J. Merivaara Oy. Majority of the shares is owned by Juho Merivaara. 

1920’s Close cooperation with doctors in hospital sector 

During the first years of Finland’s independence the development of Finnish hospital system in rural areas is very strong. Merivaara specializes more and more in hospital equipment in close cooperation with doctors in developing new, innovative models to the hospital sector. 


1925 Products receive golden and silver medals 

Merivaara receives golden and silver medals from the Finnish Fair for its high-quality products. 


1930’s Large-scale hospital deliveries in Finland 

Large-scale hospital deliveries start to many large hospitals around Finland. Merivaara is not only furnishing hospitals and homes, but also offices, hotels, prisons, and armed forces. 

1932 New, innovative operating table launched 

Merivaara starts to manufacture a much-improved Laryngo-Brocho-Esophagoscopy operating table. 

Merivaara receives golden medal from the Finnish Fair for its high-quality products. 


1935 Merivaara’s products receive a golden medal 

Merivaara receives a golden medal from the Finnish Fair for its high-quality products. 


1937 In the Paris world exhibition, a golden medal awarded to Merivaara 

Merivaara receives the highest Grand Prix award, golden medal in the Paris world exhibition for its high-quality products. Merivaara exports furniture made of iron and hospital equipment. 


1938 Juho Merivaara passes away 

The founder of Merivaara, Juho Merivaara, dies on 15 April 1938. He created a business from scratches into a leading company of its area in Finland. He visited several countries to learn about production and to establish commercial relations to various countries, such as Sweden, Germany, France, UK, and USA. His motto All products leaving Merivaara's factory must be of high quality” is still today the guideline of the Merivaara’s operations. 

Pietinen Viljo, December 9th 1940. The Finnish Heritage Agency. History image collection: Pietinen's collection

1939-1944 Merivaara adapts its operations to meet war efforts

Being a metal factory, Merivaara has to adapt its operations to manufacture products for the war efforts. The most important customer is Finland’s armed forces. The company manufactures to the armed forces field and ambulance trolleys, other needed supplies in medical care, and loading trolleys. Company also develops and manufactures wood gas generators that are needed to replace petrol in cars. Production of wood gas generators ends in 1945 when petrol is again available. Ambulance trolleys were designed so that they could be stacked in an ambulance on three layers on top of each other.


End of 1940’s – 1950 The value of the production already over 20 million marks

After the war, Merivaara participates in deliveries that are part of the payment of wartime reparation to the Soviet Union. In Finland, most important deliveries are to the medical sector where almost all hospitals are Merivaara’s customers. The demand for beds increases all the time. In 1942 J. Merivaara Oy has 131 employees and the production value is 24,4 million marks.

Saarinen, UA, 1952. The Finnish Heritage Agency. JOKA Journalistic image collection: UA Saarinen's collection

1950 Merivaara’s entire portfolio receives golden medal and honorary mention

Merivaara receives a golden medal at the Finnish Fair for its entire portfolio and an honorary mention “because Merivaara has received for the fourth time in the row a golden medal in the quality competition at the Finnish Fair”.


1952 Thousands of beds delivered to Finland’s Summer Olympics

Finland’s Olympic Committee orders 50,000 beds for athletics and visitors for Summer Olympics in Helsinki. Merivaara delivers thousands of beds to Olympic villages in Helsinki. Delivering beds was a challenge because orders came in many times very late and delivery schedule was tight.

1950-1970 Merivaara the supplier of choice for hospitals in Finland

Finland’s network of hospitals is built, with Merivaara as the supplier of choice. In the beginning, hospitals order products according to their own specs and design. Manufacturing small production series was expensive, so eventually there was no choice but to standardize the production.

1960’s Exports become important part of business

First major steps of internationalization of the company starts, especially exports to the Soviet Union.

1978 Merivaara moves to Lahti, Finland

Merivaara’s operations move to the city of Lahti in Finland where they still are today.

1979 Exports grow especially to Soviet Union

Exports become stronger, mainly to the Soviet Union


1980 Merivaara becomes the market leader in Finland

Merivaara achieves the position of a market leader in Finland

1990 Exports extended to new areas

Export activities extend more and more in West Europe and outside Europe


Own sales companies in Sweden and Norway

2001 Deliveries all over the world

Merivaara hospital equipment distributed in over 60 countries

In 2010’s Most of the sales from exports

Merivaara expands further its export business and is now selling around the world to more than 100 countries. About 85% of sales are from exports.

2017 Merivaara’s award-winning surgical light launched

Merivaara receives recognition for its high-quality products and for using design strategically in its business operations.

Merivaara receives two design awards for its new Q-Flow surgical light: Fennia Prize Grand Prix 2017 and international Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017.

2019 Focus on operating rooms, UK subsidiary established

Merivaara gives up its hospital treatment business and the new strategic focus is on delivering state-of-art equipment and solutions to operating rooms.

Merivaara establishes a subsidiary to UK to respond better to growing demand at the market.

2020 Merivaara’s new operating table awarded

Merivaara receives Fennia Prize honorary mention 2020 for the new Smarter Practico operating table.

2021 Merivaara celebrates its 120th anniversary

Today, Merivaara offers operating rooms a wide range of high-quality products, solutions, and services. The functionality and ease of use have been at the heart of the design since 1901 when the company was founded. We are proud that the company's values 120 years ago were so ahead of their time that they can still today be fully applied to the development of new and innovative solutions for healthcare professionals.

Merivaara's ownership is still in the hands of Finnish owners, as it has been throughout the company's history. Made in Finland and investing in user-friendly design have served as the cornerstones of the company from the very beginning. This is also demonstrated by the Design from Finland mark awarded to Merivaara in 2021. The products and services that carry the mark are designed to be professional, user-friendly, and sustainable.

Privacy policy and cookies

The website is using cookies. By continuing you will accept our terms of use.

Read more