As part of the series ‘National Atlas of Sweden’ this 216 page large format book traces the history of metallurgy and mining in Sweden from the earliest bloomery sites to present day activities.
Published by Jernkontoret, The Swedish Steel Producers’ Association, the book was ten years in the making and combines contributions from 36 authors, the mammoth task of editing contributions being overseen by Jan af Geijerstam and Marie Nisser.
The history of metal working in Sweden goes back at least 4500 years. Evidence abounds ranging from fragments of bloomery furnaces and slags from the earliest period, through the medieval blast furnaces of central Sweden, with their colourful blue and green slags sought after to make jewellery, then continuing through the furnaces and forges of the industrial revolution from 1748 which saw Swedish wrought iron as a valuable export commodity with many of the wood clad stone shaft furnaces and forges still extent today. This era continued through the 19 century and was followed in the 20th by consolidation to fewer but larger blast furnaces. Today, the map has been radically redrawn with the Swedish steel industry concentrating on quality rather than quantity, entering the niche markets of high strength steels and special steels and taking great care on the impact on the environment of industry.
In its 12 Chapters, the book traces the history of mining and metal production in Sweden. While there is a strong emphasis on iron and steel, the book also includes non-ferrous metals, in particular copper at the Falun mine which commenced around 1545 and continued right up until 1990s. Indeed, even today, the iron oxide remaining after purification of the copper ore is the pigment used to give the characteristic rich red colour to so much of the timberwork seen throughout Sweden. Such is its character that even Swedish Steel produce coated strip of a matching colour.
The atlas is beautifully illustrated with around 200 maps, 350 photographs and drawings and over 100 diagrams. It is available in both English and Swedish, and the translation from the latter is excellent. It includes a detailed index of topics, brief details and contact e-mails of the contributing authors, a glossary of terms and recommended further reading by subject area.
Swedish Mining & Metalworking – Past & Present published by Norstedts in cooperation with Jernkontoret 2011. Price SEK280 (approx £26) + P&P from Jernkontoret.
English Language ISBN 978-91-87769-58-0
Swedish Language ISBN 978-91-87769-58-7
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or web www.jernkontoret.se (click on ‘Download and Order’ Tab) Jernkontoret, PO Box 1721, SE-111 87 Stockholm, Sweden.
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