1926 The Rifle Factory in Tourula

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In the 1920s the government of the young Republic of Finland decided to establish a rifle factory. In 1926, the district of Tourula on the northeast edge of Jyväskylä was chosen as the most suitable location. The first product of the Finnish State Rifle Factory (Valtion Kivääritehdas) was the Lahti-Saloranta light machine gun, which was followed also by relatively heavy weaponry, such as a 20mm machine cannon and a 20mm anti-tank rifle. Throughout the Second World War the factory worked non-stop to supply the army. According to the terms of the 1944 Peace Treaty, however, arms production was terminated. At the same time, none of the workers could be dismissed.

The Tourula factory was thus converted to produce goods for war reparations and civil use. Building and metal tools, dentist chairs and mechanical adding machines were produced for the domestic market that was rapidly rebuilding after the war. Binding and woodworking machinery was in turn produced as war reparations.

During the period of war reparations, the former defensive weaponry plants owned by the Finnish State were combined under a new organisation, the State Metal Works (Valtion Metallitehtaat, VMT). In addition to the Rifle Factory, VMT included a former Cannon Factory, an Aircraft Works and its engine plant in Linnavuori in Nokia, and the Pansio Ship Works.

Pobjoy's tractor

Pobjoy's tractor.

A typical product of the Tourula factory

A typical product of the Tourula factory.