Tin factory house


In 1958, Pohjois-Savo Tinaamo started operating in the former workshop premises. The owner of the company, Aarne O. Roivainen, bought the premises from Mikko Lankinen. The main work of the tin factory was the renovation and tinning of milk cans. Cans were imported from nearby dairies, but also from further afield, such as from the dairies of Kajaani, Kuhmo, Nurmes, Kestilä and Varkaus. Most of the cans were transported by Pohjolan Liikenne's car.

The tin factory had about ten people at work at the best time. Initially, there were working and teaching so-called professional tinker as well as a skilled welder who worked in the village for longer. The tin shop had long-term employees, e.g. Aarne Jäppinen and Anssi Savolainen, who still remember the work steps of tinning cans.

It happened as follows: Right at the beginning, a number was struck in the neck of the can with a mandrel to keep the real owner known. Next, the tin-mounted rims were removed by heating. Many cans had dents and bumps when they were brought to the tin factory. They were removed with a kind of lathe in which a "straightener" was rotated both inside and outside the can. This was followed by a lye wash in a hot lye solution. The cans were then rinsed with cold water and transferred to a cold acid solution of hydrochloric acid. Now it was the turn of the so-called. initial tin in a basin that was a half-barrel-like vessel heated underneath. The rims were then provisionally fastened in place to a so-called final tinning, where the tin layer was finished by suitable heating to a uniform finish. The rims were then firmly soldered with tin and finally with a certain kind of polishing device, using chalk flour and fuel oil, the cans were polished into a new shiny milk transport container. Some cans had a poor base. Then it was necessary to either patch or rebuild the entire base and the process also had its own equipment. The lids and rims were tinned separately from the cans and only after that they were fixed in place.

In addition to cans, the company tinned some coffee pots and other utensils. Various basins and dairy furniture were also made for the dairies. The tin factory also had a so-called a command group that visited the dairy sites to make number codes on the cans with their own equipment.

However, in the 1960s, the so-called Koval bowls, which, due to their lightness and ease of care, supplanted tinned bowls. As a result, work in the tin shop was reduced and operations began to slow down. Aarne Roivainen himself continued the workshop operations on a small scale, but there were no more jobs for outsiders. This is how the tin factory, which revived the village of Tuovilanlahti for ten years, came to an end. 

Tin factory men (left). Kalevi Nevalainen, Anssi Savolainen, Pentti Rautamäki, Veikko Mykkänen, Paavo Ruuskanen, Olli Niiranen, Aarne Jäppinen, Image owned by Antti Jäppinen 

Source: Sulo Koponen, Niilo Mykkänen: Tuovilanlahden kylän historiaa. Tuovilanlahden historiapiiri, 1989. ISBN 952-90-0677-2. Page 152