THE large participation of experienced Norwegian men and firms in the expansion of America's foreign commerce is ably represented by the house of S. O. Stray & Co., of Christiansands, Norway, the largest sailing shipowners in Scandinavia and long leaders in the shipping interests in Norway. Their New York office was opened in February, 1917, by Mr. Karl Krogstad, who has since been at its head, and the business here is conducted as a corporation, under the style of S. O. Stray & Co., Inc., with Karl Krogstad, presi-dent, and C. V. Thave- not, secretary and treasurer, and do business as steamship agents and ship brokers, with offices at 11 Broadway.
Mr. Krogstad was born at Trondhjem, Norway, September 13, 1889, and received a thorough education at that place, being graduated in 1906. He began his business career immediately after leaving school with local shipowners at Trondhjem, Norway, and was afterward in similar work in England and France in the chartering departments of reputable shipbrokers, and also worked in like capacity
in Christiania, Norway. He became connected as employe of Thor Thoresen, Jr., of Christiania, and in that enterprise was in special charge of all the details of the East African trade of that firm.
In these various employments he gained a thor-ough knowledge and practical experience in all of the various branches of steamship agency and ship brokerage business and a knowledge of conditions and problems connected with ship brokerage, steamship agency, and marine matters generally, so that when by arrangement with S. O. Stray & Co. in Norway he came to New York and established the business here he brought to it all the advantages of valuable previous experience.
He came to the city at a time when the demand for tonnage was at its height, and the large resources in ships of the firm of S. O. Stray & Co. in Norway, and other favorable connections which he was enabled to command, gave Mr.
Krogstad the opportunity to do a large and active business from the first. At that time the harbor terminals of New York were blocked with freight awaiting shipment, and one who came, as Mr. Krogstad did, with command of a considerable tonnage, was at a great advantage in this market. He thus became busy at once, and many of those who dealt with him then are still numbered among the regular clients of S. O. Stray & Co., Inc.
Mr. Krogstad, who has thus during wartime been able to build up for the company of which he is the head a recognized place as one of the foremost of the ship brokerage concerns of the city, has had his confidence in the after-war volume of business fully confirmed. The prestige of his company has spread to many parts of the world, and as a result he has enjoyed securing an ever- increasing clientele, using his organization for the booking of freight and the closing of charters.
With the importance of New York as a great port growing at a rate which surpasses any previous record, Mr. Krogstad's business will inevitably increase.