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of Gothenburg, Sweden
John Hall was the sone of Benjamin Hall (-1748), who had moved to Gothenburg in the 1730s and married Cornelia Åkesson (1716-78). They had the children John Hall d.ä. (1735-1802) and Cornelia Hall (1739-91). In 1735, Benjamin Hall received a bursary as a trader. Benjamin Hall's brother Robert Hall (1731-63) also later moved to Gothenburg, around 1750. After Benjamin Hall's death, the widow married Johan Fredrik Ström (1731-81). Through this, John Hall, through his stepfather, made many important contacts in the East Indies as well as in other parts of the Gothenburg business community.
John Hall & Co (with Thomas Erskine as a partner) had a strong concentration on the export of iron and boards, especially to the British market. To secure the deliveries of goods, Hall also acquired several sawmills and ironworks, for example the Borgvik ironworks (50%), Annefors, Ransäter (50%), Gunnerud, Löfstaholm, Thorsby (50%), Wälsfors, Björkefors, Antonström, Åhleby and Ohlby in Värmland, the ironworks at Loviseholm, Kollerö, Öxnäs and Rådanefors (50%) in Dalsland and Gårdsjö in Västergötland, and eight saws in Lilla Edet and one in Åstabyholm in Värmland.