Incorporating Laborers: Saunas in Industrial Finland


Since the late 19th century most Finnish industrial areas have had one distinctive and important building—sauna—that was as important to workers as to the company’s officials. Industrial spaces had usually separated workers’ housing areas and many cases saunas were separately located from the housing and industrial spaces; most likely because of the danger of fire. We will discuss the importance and role of saunas for the industrial communities in Finland. In some industrial areas workers had built up their own saunas, however, in several cases companies built up bigger common saunas and laundries for their workers, especially at the beginning of the 20th century. Most of all saunas have been one fundamental Finnish ‘institution’, a multifunctional building. Saunas were one incorporative mechanisms in industrial communities that brought people together, so, company workers and officials, and was one instrument that created a sense of industrial community.

Cite this Record

Incorporating Laborers: Saunas in Industrial Finland. Timo Ylimaunu, Paul R. Mullins, Tiina Äikäs, Titta Kallio-Seppä. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435163)

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Community industrial space Sauna

Geographic Keywords
Finland Western Europe

Temporal Keywords
19th and 20th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: 19.648; min lat: 59.807 ; max long: 31.582; max lat: 70.089 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 198