The demand for farming machines was so active in the early 1900s that Serlachius’ machine shop had obvious problems in delivering enough of them to customers in time. In autumn 1912, Birger Serlachius wrote in Kauppalehti: “The demand for our mowing machine has increased year after year so that, for example, last summer we could not deliver all the orders even though we had reserved 700 machines for the season in advance. In the first two years of manufacturing these machines, none of our largest machine retailers wanted to sell them, and we were forced to sell them either through rural tradesmen or directly to users. Only this year have we been lucky enough to engage many of the country’s largest machine shop retailers. They have already ordered smaller or larger amounts of machinery for next year. We have already sold more than a thousand machines at a fixed rate for next year.” (Kauppalehti 9 October 1912) Rather soon after moving to town, the machine shop faced financial problems and went bankrupt, but continued its operation later (Toivanen et al. 2002, 349–353).


Long ago, Piispanmäki was an island in the sea, called Piispansaari. After the sea “fled” in the 1800s, the town’s earliest industry was established there. In the 1700s, the town inlet with water traffic still ran east of Piispansaari. The name Piispansaari (‘bishop island’) possibly comes from the black-and-white seabird razorbill (Alca torda) or from the church services possibly arranged on the island. (Interview with city guides Ulla Nyström and Gun Snellman on 12 November 2018)