The pioneer of large-scale manufacturing in the Finnish city of Tampere was the Scot James Finlayson (1771-1852) who, after a spell working in St Petersburg, established an engineering shop in the early 1820s using the water-power provided by the Tammerkoski river. He diversified into cotton manufacturing in 1828, and while he returned to Scotland ten years later, the company he established became one of the largest in Finland employing more than 3,000 people in the late 19th century. Production on the original site, in a part of the city named after Finlayson, ceased in 1995. The many buildings have been adapted for a variety of purposes, but the former dyeshop of the cotton mill houses Työväenmuseo Werstas - the Finnish Labour Museum. The emphasis in the museum is on the lives of working people, and displays illustrate their participation in politics and the visual arts, as well as the role of trade unions, and the improvement of working conditions in factories. The textile section of the museum displays 25 machines and more than 3,000 items produced by textile workers in Tampere. The collection includes machinery made by James Finlayson for preparing cotton for spinning, for spinning and weaving linen and for seaming nylon stockings. A large 1650 hp Sulzer steam engine with an 8 m flywheel is preserved in the museum.
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|Gift and book shop on site:
Tuesday - Sunday 11am-6pm