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Industry
Tiina Tuulasvaara-Kaleva

At the end of the nineteenth century, textile industry was the city's principal line of business. More than half of the city's labour force worked in the three largest factories: Finlayson and Lapinniemi cotton factories and Pellavatehdas linen factory. Due to artificial lighting the work days initially lengthened to 12 hours throughout the year. Children were commonly employed in the factories until their working hours got restricted in the 1870s. Health and safety legislation and legislation regulating working hours were developed due to increasing pressure from the working class movement. The introduction of the general eight-hour working day took place in 1918. Factories took care of their workers' basic needs far into the twentieth century; they had their own worker dwellings and asylums, schools and libraries - Finlayson even had a church and a hospital. Tampere was a city of working population, particularly of working women. Tampere became Finland's Manchester, and industry brought new types of work with it. The workshops grew into small and medium businesses which employed artisans to do serial work.

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The building sites of the growing city attracted temporary workers from further away in the countryside - many of them stayed in the city for the winter as unemployed. Tampere nicknames refer to the city's different livelihoods: ”Rieväkylä” to bakeries and ”Capitol of Shoemakers” to shoe factories.

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In addition to patrons, masters, and workers more and more lower foremen and office staff were needed. These officials felt more related to the middle class, although they were closer to the workers' living standards in terms of economy. Disputes between the lower management, masters and workers were a part of everyday life. A foreman ordered the flowers brought to linen factory window-sills by the weaver women to be removed. Nothing was to disturb working at the time, not even more pleasant work surroundings.

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In the beginning of the twentieth century, the first locomotives of Tampere Linen and Iron Industry Ltd, in short Tampella, gave an impetus for extensive engine shop production. Metal industry got another major boost some fifty years later in the form of war reparation production. Tampere paper machines conquered world markets and even the paper industry, being oriented to export, eventually surpassed the city's textile industry. Tampere remained a virile industrial city for a hundred years. The difficulties of the textile factories relying on the domestic market began already in the 1960s. Only one of them is still in operation, producing technical textiles which require special know-how.

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