Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,143 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James Finlayson

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James Finlayson was a Scottish engineer who spread the industrial revolution to Northern Europe, especially Tampere, Finland. He moved to Finland in 1820 and got permission from the Finnish government to build a factory in Tampere. Finlayson brought in many engineers from Britain, and manufactured machines used in textile industry. In 1828 he diversified into cotton production. In 1836, he sold his business and moved back to Scotland.[1]

Extracts from the Wikipedia entry:-

Finlayson was probably born in 1772 in Glasgow, and became an engineer. In 1817, he moved to St. Petersburg to establish a textile factory with the backing of Tsar Alexander I of Russia. In 1819 Finlayson visited the Grand Duchy of Finland, at the time under Russian rule. During his religious mission to sell bibles he visited Tampere. The next year Finlayson received permission from the Senate of Finland to build a factory in Tampere using water power from the Tammerkoski rapids. He moved to Tampere with his wife Margaret Finlayson.

At first Finlayson had to import machinists from England to train new workers. The first factory was completed 1823 with the aid of a state loan, with the stipulation that the technology employed could be freely inspected by the public to further civic technological advancement. Initially he manufactured machinery suitable for the textile industry but in 1828 switched from machine manufacture to cotton mills. He also founded an orphanage.

Died in 1852?

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'The Contribution of British Entrepreneurs to the Industrial Revolution on the European Continent' Korean Minjok Leadership Academy , 2011