Bøkebloggen has decided to make an English-language version of this article, aimed at Brooklyn Norwegians. We would like to thank Mabel Gabrielsen’s son, Tor, for additional information, and her grandson, Finn Øivind, who permitted us to use the fine pictures.

Bøkebloggen thought that the picture of little Jan Eilert – with the Norwegian national flag in his hand – flanked by two large German soldiers outside the Festiviteten building at the liberation day 8 May 1945, was very funny. We falt that the picture symbolized that neither age noir height have anything to say if you are fighting for democracy. Then a 6 year old boy may be more powerful than grown-up men.


Et ikonisk bilde Mabel Gabrielsen tok av sønnen Jan Eilert 8. mai 1945 foran Festiviteten mellom to tyske soldater. Med norsk flagg!
Foto: Gjengitt med tillatelse av Finn Øivind Gabrielsen.

Jennie Mabel Gabrielsen (born 25 October 1902 in Brooklyn, New York City, died 11 March 1988 in Larvik) was an amateur photographer and association woman. Her parents were ship carpenter Johan Oluf Christiansen (1869–1917?) and Hanna Marie, née Hansen (1870–1947). Both were born in Larvik.

Mabel Gabrielsen. Foto: Gjengitt med tillatelse av Finn Øivind Gabrielsen.

The married couple set sail from Kristiansand on 21 September 1900 with Brooklyn as their destination. Her father got a job at The Brooklyn Navy Yard. The family returned to Larvik, when Mabel was nine years old. The reason was that Johan Oluf suffered from heart problems (it was growing), and he wanted to die in his home country. Johan Oluf also helped building the polar ship «Fram» in Rekkevik 1891–1892.

According to the 1920 census, Mabel lived with her mother and older brother at Skiringsalsgata 9 in Torstrand. Her position was stated as a shop maid.

Skiringsalsgate 9 Skjermdump: google.maps

Mabel married Eilert Gabrielsen (1902–1988) from Langestrand on 28 June 1930. Together they had a daughter Aase and the sons Tor and Jan Eilert. Tor’s son, Finn Øivind Gabrielsen, was Larvikslista’s group leader in the municipal council 2007–2011.

Mabel og Eilert Gabrielsen samt andre i familien. Tror det må være fra 1946, for da først kom Eilert Gabrielsen hjem etter å ha vært til sjøs siden høsten 1939. Foto: Gjengitt med tillatelse av Finn Øivind Gabrielsen.

Mabel, Eilert and theor children lived in Øvre Fritzøegate 5 in Langestrand 1940–1946 and then in Kirkestredet 9 (Tollerodden house). The Gabrielsen family lived in a large and spacious apartment in Kirkestredet 1 (Falchegården) from 1951 until it burned down in december 1956, then they lived in Skiringsalsgata 9.

Øvre Fritzøegate 5 Skjermdump: 1881.no

Mabel often accompanied her husband, who was a chief engineer, on long journeys to distant countries and coasts. She gave a lecture and showed color film recordings from their seven-month round-the-world voyage 1958–1959 at the first meeting in the new year 1960 of the Larvik Yrkeskvinners Klubb. It was held at Villa Farris.

Mabel entered working life early and was employed at the P.M. Borge grocery. Among other things, she took photographs in Larvik just before, during and just after the liberation in 1945. Mabel also loved to photograph the nature and pretty gardens in the Larvik district.

She was interviewed by Jan Frydenlund in the program Rundt land og strand, which was broadcast on NRK radio on 13 October 1951.

Mabel actively participated in the Mission Church from 1935. She was treasurer of the Larvik Fotoklubb from its foundation in 1946 until 1951. Mabel was re-elected as study leader for Larvik Havfrueforening at the annual meeting in Larvik Sjømannsforening’s premises in March 1968.

At the 75th anniversary party of the Larvik Hvite Bånds forening, which was held at Nanset Sanitetshus in April 1981, Mabel was appointed an honorary member.

She died on March 11, 1988, aged 85.

Morten Bakkeli


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