Koivikoista maailmanmarkkinoille : Suomen rullateollisuus vuosina 1873-1972
The research objective was to examine the Finnish spool industry during the years 1873-1972 The spool industry constituted part of mechanical forest industry in Finland. It used birchwood as the raw material, and approximately 99 per cent of the total output was exported. The study is mainly based on original documents and statistical data. The competitiveness of the spool industry (profitability, the development of market shares and prices) is particularly emphasized. Finland's success in becoming the largest spool exporter in the world and in maintaing that position for 80 years is explained by developments in transportation, the decrease in freight costs, the successful transfer of new technology and especially the rich and inexpensive supply of birchwood as well as the low cost of labour compared to its competitors all enabled the competitive production of spools and spinning bobbins in Finland. The fact that the Finnish spool industry was unable to adjust to the changes in the world economy and eventually died out at the beginning of the 1970s is explained by the decline in the practice of sewing in the home which resulted in the decline in the thread industry and led, again, to a decrease in demand for spools. Further, the use of material cheaper than wood in spool production, and especially the break-through of plastic spools, decreased the demand for spools made of wood. The most significant customers were Great Britain, Germany/ West Germany, Belgium, Russia/ the Soviet Union and France - the major thread manufacturers in Europe. The British thread trusts J. & P. Coats Ltd and The English Sewing Cotton Company Ltd dominated the world's thread production and market. The Finnish spool industry commanded the European export market from the 1890s till the 1960s. Finland's greatest competitor was Sweden, Spools and bobbins were also manufactured in several countries for the domestic market. The demand for Finnish spools abroad grew considerably during the years 1886-1916. By that time 24 spool factories had been established in the country. Production and exports collapsed in l9l7-1918. The spool industry also declined between the two World Wars. ln 1922 the largest spool manufacturers in Finland formed a cartel in order to diminish mutual competition and to stabilize the market. After the Second World War the Finnish spool industry ran into even greater difficulties in the export trade. The plastic spool eventually displaced the wooden spool at the beginning of the 1970s. ...
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