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The British contribution to the birth of the Finnish cotton industry (1820–1870)

  • Jarmo Peltola

Abstract

Finland urbanised and industrialised slowly. In 1820 Tampere was a tiny inland town in the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants. Although Finland was a latecomer to industrialisation, Tampere took the path of many other small towns in Europe. It grew around a relatively fast-growing cotton mill with the help of foreign, mainly British know-how. In this article I give an analysis of the policies and networks that made Finnish industrialisation possible from 1820 onwards, and of the roles the British industrialists, technicians and cotton industry specialists played in this process.

La Finlande s'est urbanisée et industrialisée lentement. En 1820, Tampere, petite ville de l'intérieur du Grand-Duché autonome de Finlande, comptait moins de 1 000 habitants. Si la Finlande a tardé à s'industrialiser, Tampere suivit le même chemin que beaucoup d'autres petites villes européennes. Elle se développa autour d'une filature de coton à croissance relativement rapide, avec l'aide d'un savoir-faire étranger, principalement britannique. L'auteur présente ici une analyse des politiques et des réseaux qui ont permis l'industrialisation finlandaise à partir de 1820. Le rôle joué par les industriels, techniciens et spécialistes britanniques de l'industrie cotonnière dans ce processus est aussi examiné.

In Finnland gingen Urbanisierung und Industrialisierung langsam voran. Tampere war 1820 eine winzige Stadt im autonomen Großherzogtum Finnland, die weniger als 1.000 Einwohner besaß. Obwohl Finnland ein Nachzügler der Industrialisierung war, folgte Tampere dem Pfad vieler europäischer Kleinstädte und wuchs im Schlepptau einer Baumwollfabrik, die sich mit ausländischem Knowhow, vor allem von britischer Seite, relativ schnell entwickelte. In diesem Beitrag analysiere ich, wie Politik und Netzwerke die finnische Industrialisierung ab 1820 möglich machten und welche Rolle dabei die britischen Industriellen, Techniker und Spezialisten der Baumwollindustrie spielten.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: jarmo.peltola@tuni.fi

References

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Notes

1 The global context and development has been discussed in several significant studies: Beckert, Sven, Empire of cotton: a new history of global capitalism (London, 2015); Allen, Robert C., The British Industrial Revolution in global perspective (Cambridge, 2009); Riello, Giorgio, Cotton: the fabric that made the Modern World (Cambridge, 2013).

2 Bruland, Kristine, British technology and European industrialization: the Norwegian textile industry in the mid-nineteenth century (Cambridge, 1989).

3 Howe, Anthony, The cotton masters 1830–1860, Oxford Historical Monographs (Oxford, 1984).

4 Voionmaa, Väinö, Tampereen historia II (1809–1855), 2nd edn (Tampere, 1929); Lindfors, Gustaf V., Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907 (Tammerfors, 1938).

5 Kreenholmi 75, 1857–1932, Puuvillas aaduste manufaktuuri osaühisus (Kirjastus, Tallinn, 1933), 23–6.

6 Klas Nyberg, ‘Från Tekniköverföring till produktinnovationer’, in Klas Nyberg and Pia Lundqvist eds., Dolda innovationer: Textila produkter och ny teknik under 1800–talet (Kulturhistoriska bokförlaget, 2013); Klas Nyberg, ‘Brittisk teknik, svensk överföring och finländskt mottagande? Textilindustrin i Sverige och Finland 1809–1870: Exempelet ylleindustrin’, Historisk tidskrift (Sweden). 4/2000; Textil och Beklädnadsindustrien, Specialundersökning, Sveriges officiella statistik (SOU), Industri och Bergshantering, Stockholm 1914, 187–92.

7 W. O. Henderson, The Industrial Revolution on the continent: Germany, France, Russia 1800–1914 (London, 2006 [orig. pub. 1961]), 210; William L. Blackwell, The beginnings of Russian industrialization 1800–1860 (Princeton, 1969), 169–74; Antti Kuusterä, ‘Valtio, Talous ja Valtiontalous’, in Pertti Haapala ed., Talous, valta ja valtio: Tutkimuksia 1800–luvun Suomesta (Vastapaino, 1995), 64–70; Sakari Heikkinen, Suomeen ja maailmalle: Tullilaitoksen historia (Helsinki, 1994), 127–244.

8 Anita Prażnowska, Poland: a modern history (London, 2010), 35–6; Development of Łódź: Otto Heike, Aufbau und Entwicklung der Lodzer Textilindustrie (Mönchengladbach, 1971); Ivan T. Berend, Case studies of modern European economy, entrepreneurs, inventions and institutions (London, 2013), 193–6; Irena Popławska and Stefan Muthesius, ‘Poland's Manchester: 19th-century industrial and domestic architecture in Łódź’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 45, 2 (June 1986), 148–60; Beckert, Empire of cotton, 395–7.

9 In the literature, James Finlayson is noted as having worked at Kolpino, and there are references to him also working at the Alexandrovsky works. The Russian State owned both of these industrial plants, which were located in the outskirts of St Petersburg, and British experts had an important role in both factories. See John Paterson, The book for every land: reminiscences of labour and adventure in the work of Bible circulation in the north of Europe and in Russia (London, 1858), 315; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 29–32.

10 Viljo Rasila, Tampereen historia I: Vaiheet ennen 1840–lukua (Tampere, 1988); Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 158–67; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 18201907, 89–110; Roberta G. Selleck, ‘Quaker pioneers in Finnish economic development: James Finlayson and the Wheeler family’, Quaker History 51, 1 (1962), 32–42, here 37.

11 Selleck, ‘Quaker pioneers’; Rasila, Tampereen historia I, 558–9.

12 Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 138–9.

13 Ibid., 139.

14 Ibid., 140; Rasila, Tampereen historia I, 562–3.

15 Rasila, Tampereen historia I, 563–8.

16 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 18201907, 36–126, 164–7, 219–22; Väinö Voionmaa, Tampereen historia III: Itämaisesta sodasta suurlakon aikoihin (Tampere, 1932), 12–15; Viljo Rasila, Tampereen historia II: 1840–luvulta vuoteen 1905 (Tampere, 1988), 11–15.

17 Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 151–3; Rasila, Tampereen historia I, 569–73.

18 Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 420–1; Rasila, Tampereen historia II, 665; Statistical Yearbook of Finland 1908, Table 7.

19 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 18201907, 83.

20 Ibid., 111–22; Rasila, Tampereen historia I, 575–9; Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 167–8.

21 Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 167–9; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 18201907, 113–16.

22 Rasila, Tampereen historia II, 209.

23 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 18201907, 113–14.

24 Paterson, The book for every land, 315.

25 Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 171; Rasila, Tampereen historia II, 579.

26 Finlands Allmänna Tidning, 9 May 1829; Finlands Allmänna Tidning, 16 May 1829. See also Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 18201907, 112–14.

27 Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 171; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 18201907, 126–40.

28 The Scotsman, 27 May 1835; Northern Whig, 15 June 1835.

29 Daniel Wheeler Jr ed., Memoirs of the life and gospel labours of the late Daniel Wheeler: a minister of the Society of Friends (London, 1842), 216–17, 675; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 18201907, 134–5, 181–3; Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 171.

30 Brian Denoon, ‘James Finlayson of Penicuik 1772–1852: industrial founder of Finland's second city’, Aberdeen University Review 65, autumn (1991), 118–27; Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 172.

31 Voionmaa, Tampereen historia II, 172.

32 Central Archives for Finnish Business Records (hereafter ELKA), Finlayson Cotton Mill's Archive (hereafter FCMA), correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 7 July 1837; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 164–7.

33 Selleck, ‘Quaker pioneers’, 40.

34 ELKA FCMA, accountancy records, 1836–1841.

35 ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Daniel Wheeler Jr to C. S. Nottbeck, 15 April 1846; Selleck, ‘Quaker pioneers’, 41–2.

36 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 200–1.

37 Denoon, ‘James Finlayson of Penicuik’.

38 An evangelical sect named for its founder, Johannes Gossner, originally the pastor of the German congregation in St Petersburg. He later corresponded with the manager of Finlayson's, Uhde.

39 Selleck, ‘Quaker pioneers’, 32–42.

40 Hanna Yli-Hinkkala, ‘“Per Angusta ad Angusta”: Ferdinand Uhde Finlaysonin tehtaan johtajana 1836–1844 [Ferdinand Uhde as a Mill Manager 1836–1844]’ (Master's thesis, University of Tampere, 2015), 110; Yrjö Hirvonen, ‘Englantilainen vaikutus Tampereen uskonnollisessa elämässä viime vuosisadalla’, in Tampere, Tutkimuksia ja kuvauksia V (Tampere, 1957), 137–45.

41 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 181–3; Rasila, Tampereen historia I, 582–3.

42 Rasila, Tampereen historia I, 582; Yli-Hinkkala, ‘“Per Angusta ad Angusta”’. Clark Archive (hereafter CA), Street, Somerset, Wheeler Family collection, correspondence, Daniel Wheeler to Sarah Wheeler Tampereelta, 8 July 1841. One of the Quaker friends they approached was John Kitching, a rich merchant and banker. He is mentioned in several works on Quaker business networks; see Gillian Cookson, ‘Quaker networks and the industrial development of Darlington 1780–1870’, in John F. Wilson and Andrew Popp eds., Industrial clusters and regional business networks in England, 1750–1970 (London, 2017), 160–1; and in Ann Prior and Maurice Kirby, ‘The Society of Friends and business’, in David Jeremy ed., Religion, business and wealth in modern Britain (London, 2006), 131.

43 Jonathan Huddlestone, And the children's teeth are set on edge (2010), 557–8, 562, 578, 854.

44 Joel Mokyr, ‘Technological change, 1700–1830’, in R. Floud and D. McCloskey eds., The economic history of Britain since 1700, Volume I: 1700–1860 (Cambridge, 1994), 12–43; Bruland, British technology, 1–7.

45 Lennart Schön, Från hantwerk till fabriksindustri, Svensk textiltillverkning 1820–1870 (Arkiv 1979), 100–13.

46 Joel Mokyr, The lever of riches, technological creativity and economic progress (Oxford, 1990), 2545. The company was founded by William Cockerill (1759–1832), who was born in Haslingden, Lancashire. From 1813, the company was a joint enterprise of his sons: Charles, James and John Cockerill Cie.

47 Einar W. Juvelius, John Barkers bomullsfabrik 1843–1933 (Oy Uuden Auran kirjapaino, 1933), 13–15; ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 21 June 1836.

48 Juvelius, John Barkers bomullsfabrik 1843–1933, 13–15; ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 21 June 1836 and 7 April 1837.

49 Daniel H. Bagge, Anteckningar om Sveriges Bomullspinneries 1805–1877 (Norrköping, 1899), 32–6.

50 ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 21 June 1836; Otto Mannerfelt and Hilding Danielson, Sven Eriksons och Rydboholms Fabrikers Historia 1834–1866: Rydboholms fabrikens historia I (Borås, 1924), 45, 53–4, 105–06. On August Bergman's order, see 81.

51 Mannerfelt and Danielson, Sven Eriksons och Rydboholms Fabrikers Historia 1834–1866, 54; Juvelius, John Barkers bomullsfabrik 1843–1933, 14–15.

52 Juvelius, John Barkers bomullsfabrik 1843–1933, 14–15; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 118–48.

53 Finlayson does not appear to have been told any details of the plans of the new factory. He became angry when he eventually discovered how large the new factory was going to be, as he felt he had been cheated.

54 CA, Street, Somerset, Wheeler Family collection, Map 1 and Map 2.

55 ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 27 May 1836.

56 ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 21 June 1836.

57 ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 21 June 1836, 30 August 1836, and 16 February 1838.

58 Juvelius, John Barkers bomullsfabrik 1843–1933, 14–15; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 117–45.

59 ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 29 March 1836.

60 ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 15 March 1836; Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 146–7.

61 Yli-Hinkkala, Per angusta ad angusta, 95–6.

62 Åbo Underrättelser, 26 June 1841.

63 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 173–5, 182–4.

64 Ibid., 175–7.

65 Ibid., 178–9.

66 Ibid., 184–5.

67 Ibid., 184–5; Juvelius, John Barkers bomullsfabrik 1843–1933, 15–16.

68 Juvelius, John Barkers bomullsfabrik 1843–1933, 15.

69 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 186.

70 Ibid., 186–7.

71 Ibid., 195–7; ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 25 March 1844.

72 Hiski-database, https://hiski.genealogia.fi/. Tampere Cathedral congregation.

73 Åbo Tidningar, 28 May 1845.

74 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 195–7, 239; Unto Kanerva, Pumpulilaisia ja pruukilaisia: Tehdastyöväen työ- ja kotioloja Tampereella viime vuosisadalla (Tammi, 1946), 102–09; Marjatta Rahikainen, Centuries of child labour: European experiences from the seventeenth to the twentieth century: studies in labour history (Farnham, 2004), 132.

75 ELKA FCMA, correspondence, Ferdinand Uhde to C. S. Nottbeck, 27 May 1838 and 9 March 1840.

76 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 195–7.

77 Ibid., 207.

78 Ibid., 214–18.

79 Ibid., 211–12.

80 Ibid., 226–9.

81 Joustela, Kauko, Suomen Venäjän kauppa autonomian ajan jälkipuoliskolla vv. 1809–1865 (Helsinki, 1963), 209–11; Heikkinen, Sakari, Suomeen ja maailmalle: Tullilaitoksen historia (Helsinki, 1994), 219–20.

82 ELKA FCMA, statistics; Juvelius, John Barkers bomullsfabrik 1843–1933; Kaukovalta, Forssan puuvillatehtaan historia 18471934, 150–1; 780–1; Swanljung, Walter, Vaasan puuvilla Oy 80 vuotta, 1857–1937 (Frenckell, 1938), 6972; Nikula, Oscar, Vaasan puuvilla Oy 1856–1956 (Helsinki, 1957), 3052, 59, 73, 92, 106.

83 ELKA FCMA, statistics; Farnie, D. A., The English cotton industry and the world market 1815–1896 (Oxford, 1979), 316.

84 Lindfors, Finlayson-fabrikerna i Tammerfors 1820–1907, 269, 280–7.

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