During the seventeenth century a number of ironworks were founded in Finland. The large tracts of forestland in the Pohja region along with its unharnessed water power and good water routes made it an ideal centre for the Finnish iron industry. The ironworks at Antskog were founded around 1630, and Billnäs followed in 1641. Fiskars was started in 1649, and today is one of the oldest businesses in the western world.
1649 - Fiskars ironworks founded
When the ironworks were founded in Fiskars, Finland was under Swedish rule, and Sweden was one of Europe's biggest producers of iron in the seventeenth century. In 1649, Peter Thorwöste was granted the privilege of setting up a blast furnace and bar hammer in Fiskars and for the manufacture of cast iron and forged products. The iron ore used in Fiskars was mainly brought in from the Utö mine in Stockholm's outer archipelago and most of the bar iron manufactured at the ironworks was shipped to Sweden to be sold on the Iron Market in Stockholm's Old Town. In Fiskars, the iron was also used to make nails, thread, knives, hoes, iron wheels and other things.
Eighteenth century - From ironworks to copperworks
In 1783, the ironworks was taken over by the Björkman family and production focused on processing copper ore from the nearby Orijärvi copper mine. By the nineteenth century there was little copper left to be mined in Orijärvi, so the blast furnace was closed in 1802. Since then there has been no basic iron manufacturing done in Fiskars Village.
1822 - the Julin family era begins in Fiskars
In 1822 the apothecary Johan Jacob Julin (later, von Julin) from Turku bought Fiskars ironworks and village. In his time, the ironworks were actively developed and production focused on processing iron. With the 1832 founding in Fiskars of Finland's first cutlery mill the production range increased from knives to include forks and scissors. In 1837 Fiskars saw another first in Finland, when its machine workshop was founded in the village. In the 1830s, Finland's first steam engine was manufactured at the workshop. The Fiskars tradition of implementing reform and innovation has its roots in this period. Many social reforms also took place during Julin's ownership, during which the ironworks village got its own school and hospital. Farming in the village was greatly improved. Fiskars had a significant influence on the development of Finnish agriculture, and in its day the Fiskars plough workshop manufactured more than a million ploughs. Under Julin's leadership, Fiskars became known for its farm and household implements, and the Fiskars name became synonymous with high quality.
1883 - Fiskars becomes a limited company
On the death of J.J. Julin, the ironworks were lead by a guardianship administration. Little by little the power was amassed by Emil Lindsay von Julin and the limited company Fiskars was founded. 1915 Fiskars was listed at Helsinki Stock Exchange.
1918 - Fiskars grows and develops
The productivity of the ironworks was raised by developing improved methods of processing steel and by renewing the rolling mill at Åminnefors. The product range was expanded and Fiskars founded Finland's first metal spring factory. The company also bought Inha Works in Ähtäri as well as the companies Billnäs Bruks Ab and Oy Ferraria Ab.
1929 - the great stock market crash and the recession
The Finnish economy suffered from the great stock market crash of 1929 and this slowed down expansion at Fiskars. In Finland, the effects of the crash were felt into the mid 1930s. Not until the end of the Second World War did the Fiskars' management team realize its plans for reforming the company structure to accommodate mass production.
1967 - Fiskars manufactures the world's first plastic-handled scissors
The orange-handled scissors are one of Fiskars' best known products. But how was it decided to make the handles of the scissors orange? In 1967 when the first basic models were about to be manufactured the designer wanted the scissors to be black, red or green. As the prototype went into production, the machinist decided to finish off the orange color he had in his machine. This meant prototypes were made in four different colors, of which the orange and black were most popular. A choice had to be made. An internal vote was taken at Fiskars, and the result gave birth to Fiskars orange-handled scissors.
Fiskars has registered the color orange in scissors in Finland, the United States and Canada.
1977 - Fiskars scissors factory founded in the USA
Fiskars' expansion began with the founding of a scissors factory in the United States. Setting up in the strongest economy in the world, the US, proved to be a successful choice. It has provided a basis for international trade, a growing market and valuable commercial and professional experience.
In the twenty-first century, Fiskars has focused on consumer products and grown through acquisitions. The acquisition of Iittala in 2007 strengthened Fiskars position in kitchenware, while Leborgne strengthened the Corporation's garden tools business. The acquisition of Royal Copenhagen in 2013 complemented Fiskars dining offering with fine hand-painted porcelain and strengthened the company in the Nordic countries and in Asia. In 2015, Fiskars acquired the WWRD group of companies (WWRD) and its portfolio of iconic luxury home and lifestyle brands, which include Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert and Rogaška.
Since 2008 Fiskars has consistently evolved towards a focused and efficient integrated consumer goods company.
Fiskars serves consumers and customers around the world with a brand portfolio of globally recognized brands including Fiskars, Gerber, Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Waterford, and Wedgwood. Building on our mission to create a family of iconic lifestyle brands, Fiskars’ vision is to create a positive, lasting impact on our quality of life.
Fiskars is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.