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 which moved out of Fiskars village to new premises from the 1980s. In the eighteenth century Scots were prominent in the management of the blast furnace and foundry, and it subsequently passed under the direction of Swedes. 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. The first Finnish steam engine was constructed at Fiskars in 1838 in a red brick erecting shop that still stands.
The old ironworks buildings including the foundry of 1836 and the rolling mill of 1859, 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. A bakery produces traditional Finnish sour dough bread, and there are demonstrations of the manufacture of model ‘tin’ (lead) soldiers.