Erich Christian – who in his home town is better known by his harmonious initials – was virtually born into business life. His father was a well off merchant, but he died when E. C. was seven years old. The merchant house business continued, led by his mother, and eventually with the son as an assistant. In 1837 he had advanced to procurist, and he now had considerable influence on the firm’s decisions.
E. C. Dahl made it big in the importing of grain and exporting of herring. However, it is in 1856 that the foundation for the legend about him was laid. He then started a brewery, which due to his supreme business acumen made the owner a very wealthy man.
E. C. Dahl was a generous personality, and his home town benefited from that. He was an open-handed patron of the arts, and contributed to several undertakings. The theatre was particularly close to his heart.
Dahl died without marrying, but it is no secret that he was fond of female company. It is thus logical that his largest gift to Trondheim was earmarked for a foundation for the post-natal care of women and their new-born babies. The well-known "Stiftelsen" [foundation] on Sverres gate [street] was opened in 1908. In the final decades of the last century the foundation was changed, now offering assistance for various types of disability. The beautiful building in the art nouveau style is now used by Trøndelag Kunstnersenter [Trøndelag artist centre].
Recommended reading: Lyder Must Borthen: E.C. Dahls stiftelse [foundation] 1892-1908. Stiftelsen, .