The vibrant life of the ironworks
In the old ironworks communities of Fiskars and Billnäs, old traditions and new trends are intertwined.
The basic structure of the buildings comes from the mid 17th century, during the period of iron smelting and production, and the names of the buildings still reflect the spirit of this period: Copper Smithy, Kardusen, Old Plough Factory and a former iron foundry are found in Fiskars, and the aptly-named Big Smithy and Tool Storehouse in Billnäs.
Astute businessmen from the mid 16th century realized how water power could be harnessed for practical use, and built the blast furnaces, where iron ore was refined. A total of five ironworks was created in the region: the oldest was Svartå Ironworks, which was founded in 1560. During the following century, three more ironworks followed: Antskog in 1630, Billnäs in 1641 and Fiskars in 1649. The Åminnefors ironworks was established as recently as 1875.
The iron foundry work has long since stopped, and has been replaced by new activities and events which have thankfully enabled the milieu of the ironworks to remain alive.
Finland's oldest company, Fiskars, is still viable and celebrated it’s 360 anniversary in 2009. The company's domestic manufacturing facilities are currently located in Billnäs, where consumer products are manufactured for the home, the garden and other outdoor activities. Fiskars orange-handled scissors are the company’s most famous and popular product. With its tools, the company has won numerous international awards.
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