Environmental Changes

Industry lives in a state of continual change. Its surrounding community also has to adapt to change at many levels. By the end of the 1800s, when the pulp mill started production, the inhabitants of Jämsänkoski and its lower reaches had already noticed the change in their environment.

Gradually the industrial plants grew and covered an ever-increasing area. At the same time the factory segregated itself from the surrounding community. A fence was erected between the factory and the residential area and entry to the factory area was through a guarded gate. For decades the factory workers' days were governed by the sound of the factory hooter. Although the hooter has been silenced, the steady hum of the factory continues.

The environmental emissions of pulp mills exploded as a topic of public debate in the 1960s. The state of waterways only improved when the old sulphite factories were closed down. Air quality has been improved both by tighter legislation and developing technology.
Johan Knutson’s painting of Rekolankoski from 1869. Finnish National Gallery, Central Art Archives. Photo by Janne Mäkinen.