The ironworks founded in 1649 at Fiskars 78 km west of Helsinki by Peter Thorwöste has had a continuous history since that time and its work is carried on by the Fiskars Corporation. From 1822 it was managed by Johan Julin (d 1853) who developed the whole area encouraging initiatives in agriculture and forestry, as well as bringing in the latest technology to the furnaces, the forge and the machine shops, and establishing good living conditions for the workers. Finland’s first machinery workshop was built at Fiskars in 1837. The first Finnish steam engine was constructed at Fiskars in 1838 in a red brick machinery workshop that still stands.
The old ironworks buildings including the foundry of 1836 and the cutlery mill of 1888, have been adapted to accommodate new businesses, particularly craftsmen, and there are extensive conference and hotel facilities. The museum in Fiskars shows the culture of the ironworks from the seventeenth century to the present, and the living conditions of the workers at various dates. During the summer in the Fiskars Museum, the scent of freshly baked bread, spun wool and linen laundry hovers in the air as the folks of the Ironworks are in the midst of their domestic chores. There are demonstrations of the manufacture of model ‘tin’ (lead) soldiers.