James Finlayson, a Scotsman, came to Finland via Russia and founded a cotton mill in Tampere in 1820, thereby creating what was to be the first major industrial establishment in the country.
From the 1830’s to 1900’s, Finlayson was a town within a town. The new owners of the factory, the Nottbeck family, ruled the community like an enlightened king rules his kingdom: they provided employment, housing, a school, food, a home for the elderly, a hospital and a church.
Completed in 1837, Finlayson’s six-storey factory building, called Kuusvooninkinen is the most significant monument of Finnish industrial history. It was the first building designed for large-scale industry, where halls had no partitioning walls. Instead, the intermediate floors were supported by cast iron pillars.
Today, Kuusvooninkinen is a protected building, and the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments is supervising its restoration.
Today, the Finlayson Area also hosts a variety of museums, such as the Spy Museum, Werstas Labour Museum, Steam Engine Museum, Textile Industry Museum, Rupriikki Media Museum and TR1 Visual Arts Centre. Moreover, there are cafés and restaurants, bars and pubs, a 10-screen cinema theatre and a children’s theatre in the area.