James Finlayson Movies and Career Information

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Nov 30, -0001

James Finlayson (1772-08-29? -?1852) was a Scottish Quaker who, in effect, took the Industrial Revolution to Tampere, Finland. James Finlayson was probably born 1772 in Glasgow, Scotland and became a self-trained engineer. He moved, in 1817, to St. Petersburg to found a textile factory with the backing of the 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 the water power from the Tammerkoski river, again with the backing of the tsar. 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 state loan; with the stipulation that the technology employed could be freely inspected by the public to further civic technological advancement. He manufactured machinery suitable for a textile industry but in 1828 switched from machine manufacture to cotton mills. He also founded an orphanage. On March 1, 1836 Finlayson sold the

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