Björn Kjellström, who founded the company that makes the most popular compass in the world and later introduced the sport of orienteering to North America, died Saturday in a hospital in Stockholm.
He was 84 years old. His family said he died of complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Mr. Kjellström (pronounced SHELL-strum) was born in Sweden and became a national champion there in ski orienteering. The low-cost sport involves the use of a map and a compass to move quickly over unknown forest terrain from one control point to another. Competition is on foot in warmer weather, on skis in the winter.
When he began, compasses had no restraints to keep the needle from swinging. In 1932, he, his brothers Alvar and Alvid, and Gunnar Tillander invented the Silva System (Silva is the Latin word for forest). It combined a compass with a protractor built into the base.
當他開始從事這項運動時，指南針的指針沒有辦法克制晃動。1932年，他的兄弟Alvar、 Alvid和Gunnar Tillander發明了Silva系統（Silva是拉丁文，森林）。它結合了指南針和量角器在一個底板上。
Their invention made it faster and easier to use and read the compass. The protractor baseplate allowed users to take more accurate bearings from maps. The brittle magnetic needle stopped moving in the compass liquid within four seconds as opposed to up to 30 seconds in older compasses.
In 1946, Mr. Kjellström came to the United States and started the Silva Compass Company in LaPorte, Ind. In 1948, he founded Silva Ltd., in Toronto. Johnson Wax bought the American company in 1973 and the Canadian company in 1985.
於1946年，Kjellström來到了美國，於印第安納州LaPorte 開始了Silva Compass 公司。於1948年，他在Toronto創立了Silva Ltd.。Johnson Wax於1973年買下美國公司，於1985年買下加拿大公司。
A spokesman for the Johnson Worldwide Associates in Racine, Wis., said more than a half-million Silva compasses were sold in the United States annually, making it the industry leader. The compass is made in 50 models. More than 25 million have been sold, mostly to hunters, campers and the military, helped by such marketing slogans as “Read this or get lost.”
位於威士康新州Racine的Johnson Worldwide Associates發言人說，每年在美國能夠賣出超過50萬Silva指南針，讓它成為行業領導者。這些指南針生產超過50款型號。靠著行銷標語“讀它或迷路”，已經賣出超過兩千五百萬只，大部分賣給獵人、戶外活動者和軍方。
Mr. Kjellström’s 1955 book, “Be Expert With Map and Compass” (MacMillan, revised 1994), has sold more than 500,000 copies in English-language editions. It has also been published in French, Italian and Chinese.
Kjellström於1955年出版的書，”Be Expert With Map and Compass”英文版已經賣出超過50萬本，它也發行過法文、義大利文及中文版。
He was a shrewd businessman. Just after World War II, he started selling Silva compasses to Canadian stores for $3, with the stores to re-sell them for $5. When he arrived at the Eatons department store in Winnipeg, he learned the 100 compasses they bought were selling slowly, so they had put the 80 remaining compasses on sale for $2 each.
“Without identifying myself at that stage,” he recalled, “I offered to buy their entire stock for $1.50 a compass. Then I went more or less around the corner to a couple of sporting-goods stores, not customers as yet, and sold the compasses to them for $3 net.”
He introduced orienteering to the United States in 1946 and co-founded the United States Orienteering Federation in 1971. He later became the organization’s president emeritus. He helped bring the 1993 orienteering world championships to Harriman State Park near West Point, N.Y. He was vice president of the International Ski Federation from 1951 to 1979.
Since the 1950’s, he had lived in Pound Ridge, N.Y., where he helped develop the trail system in the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
從1950年代，他就住在紐約Pound Ridge，幫助發展Ward Pound Ridge保留區的步道系統。
He is survived by his wife, Kathi Kjellström of Pound Ridge; five children, Dr. Björn Kjellström Jr. of Trosa, Sweden; Dr. Tord Kjellström of Geneva, Laila Kjellström of Edinburgh, Rolf Kjellström of Stockholm and Carina Elgin of The Plains, Va., and eight grandchildren.
他和他的妻子Kathi Kjellström生活在Pound Ridge，五個孩子Dr. Björn Kjellström Jr. 在瑞典Trosa，Dr. Tord Kjellström在日內瓦，Laila Kjellström在蘇格蘭愛丁堡，Rolf Kjellström在斯德哥爾摩，Carina Elgin在維吉尼亞州The Plains，還有8個孫輩。
New York Times
By Frank Litsky
Sept. 1, 1995