The Finlayson factory on the edge of the Tammerkoski rapids was already a centenarian icon of Finnish industry in the 1920s. It was the largest factory in the Nordic countries, employing thousands of people. Finlayson’s workers had their own residential districts, social services, and social activities, forming a unique community in the heart of the factory city. One factory’s importance for the entire city cannot be exaggerated in this case. Finlayson II recounts how the large company managed to maintain its exceptional position and reputation until the 1970s. Only then did the company face a profitability crisis, then a downward spiral before being sold. The last machines stopped in the 1990s. The name Finlayson and the impressive buildings remain, as well as thousands of fabric patterns, which are brought back to life by the book’s rich illustrations. Finlayson’s story is part of a global restructuring of industry. It is also the story of the birth and salvation of industrial building tradition. The closed factory area became a living room for citizens, reminiscent of a lost factory community, but simultaneously part of the identity of future generations.
The book has been written by Docent Jussi Koivuniemi. Professor Heidi Pietarinen, Docent Jarmo Peltola, and PhD Marja Lähteenmäki have contributed articles about their own areas of expertise. Their articles further examine the development of Finlayson's design and fabric patterns in the 1960s and 1980s, the working conditions and industrial relations of Finlayson's employees, and Finlayson's building traditions and reuse of the area. Miniature articles presenting Finlayson's huge range of products have been written by researchers Anne-Mari Lehto and Mari Lind from Tampere's historical museums. The book’s images have been picked out at the Vapriikki photo archive in collaboration with the author.
Finlayson II (1918-2020)
Tampere museums publication 166
615 pages, plenty of images