Tobbukot

Tobbukot (HM2AYG)

Location: Reykjavík 101
Country: Iceland
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N 64° 8.713', W 21° 55.876'

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Þorbjörg Sveinsdóttir, midwife (1827-1903)

(English Side:)

In 1858 a small half-stone house or steinbaer was built here. Before long it was purchased by midwife Þorbjörg Sveinsdóttir. The house was commonly called Tobbukot, a diminutive derived from "Þorbjörg's cottage." In 1896 Þorbjörg built a two-floored wooden house on the same plot, where she lived until her death in 1903.
Skólavörðustígur 11 was the latter-day address of the houses, which were demolished in 1968 to be replaced by a large modern building.

Þorbjörg Sveinsdóttir was born in modest circumstances in 1827, daughter of a
country clergyman at Sandfell in Öræfi, southeast Iceland. She studied midwifery
at Copenhagen's maternity hospital, graduating in 1856; this one-year course was
the only training programme available to Icelandic women at that time. Þorbjörg
worked as a midwife in Reykjavík, where she held the post of official midwife from
1864 until her retirement in 1902. One of her last deliveries was that of a baby boy
in a little house at Laugavegur 32: when Halldór Guðjónsson grew up
he would take the pen-name Laxness, and ultimately win the Nobel prize for literature.

In 1846 the population of Reykjavík was almost 1500, but by the end of the century
it had increased to 7000. Þorbjörg delivered babies all over Reykjavík and undoubtedly knew



the inhabitants better than anyone else. She was loved and admired by
the mothers of Reykjavík. She was famous as a woman of substance, who spoke at
political meetings, undeterred by her lack of a right to vote.

Þorbjörg Sveinsdóttir was among the founders of the Icelandic Women's Association, Hið íslenska kvenfélag, in 1894. It was the first women's association in Iceland
to include women's rights in its manifesto. In 1895 its membership included 485
women from Reykjavik, about one quarter of the town's women.

Þorbjörg brought up her niece Ólafía Jóhannsdóttir (1863-1924), who also became
a well-known activist for women's rights. She worked to promote temperance, was
active in Iceland's YMCA and YWCA, and co-founded a women's temperance society, Hvítabandið, in Reykjavík in 1895, sitting on its first board. Ólafía worked abroad
after 1903, mainly in Oslo, where she founded a refuge for those whom society had rejected.
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(Icelandic Side:)

Steinbær var reistur hér árið 1858 og fljótlega keypti hann Þorbjörg Sveinsdóttir Ijósmóðir. Bærinn var jafnan nefndur Tobbukot. Árið 1896 reisti Þorbjörg tvílyft timburhús á sömu lóð og bjó þar til dánardægurs árið 1903. Húsin hlutu síðar heitið Skólavörðustígur 11. Þau voru rifin árið 1968 og stórhýsi byggt á lóðinni.

Þorbjörg Sveinsdöttir fæddist að Sandfelli í Öræfum



árið 1827, dóttir fátækra prestshjóna. Hún varð ljósmóðir frá Fæðingarstofnun Kaupmannahafnar árið 1856, en það var eina námið sem stóð íslenskum konum til boða og það tók aðeins eitt ár. Þorbjörg stundaði ljósmóðurstörf í Reykjavík þar sem hún var embættisljösmóðir frá árinu 1864 þar til hún lét af störfum árið 1902. Eitt síðasta ljósmóðurverk hennar var að taka á móti sveinbarni í steinbæ að Laugavegi 32 sem gefið var nafnið Halldör og tók sér siðar ættarnafnið Laxness. Hann hlaut siðar bókmenntaverðlaun Nóbels.

Arið 1856 voru íbúar Reykjavikur tæplega 1.500 en um aldamótin 1900 hafði þeim fjölgað í sjö þúsund. Þorbjörg fór um allt þorpið til að taka á möti börnum og þekkti íbúana eflaust betur en nokkur annar. Hún var elskuð og dáð af sængurkonum bæjarins. Hún var nafnkunnur skörungur og tók til máls á stjórnmálafundum þótt ekki hefði hún atkvæðisrétt.

Þorbjörg Sveinsdóttir var einn stofnenda Hins íslenska kvenfélags árið 1894. Það var fyrsta kvenfélag á íslandi sem hafði kvenréttindi á stefnuskrá sinni. Árið 1895 höfðu 485 reykvískar konur gengið í það, sem var um fjórðungur allra kvenna í bænum.

Hjá Þorbjörgu ólst upp systurdóttir hennar, Ólafía Jóhannsdóttir (1863-1924) sem einnig varð kunn að störfum að kvenréttindamálum. Hún starfaði að bindindismálum og málum KFUM og K og var meðstofnandi Hvítabandsins í Reykjavík árið 1895 og sat í fyrstu stjörn þess.



Eftir 1903 starfaði Ólafía erlendis, aðallega í Osló, þar sem hún beitti sér fyrir að komið yrði á fót heimili fyrir utangarðsfólk.
Details
HM NumberHM2AYG
Tags
Placed ByReykjavík City Museum
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, August 30th, 2018 at 2:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)27W E 454687 N 7113527
Decimal Degrees64.14521667, -21.93126667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 64° 8.713', W 21° 55.876'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds64° 8' 42.78" N, 21° 55' 52.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 11 Skólavörðustígur, Reykjavík 101, IS
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