Industrial Heritage

painting of a child learning how to use machinery - fades from grey on the left to colourful on the right

Colouring Europe at Work: download our industrial heritage colouring book

Download our Europe at Work industrial heritage colour book to discover paintings, illustrations and posters depicting different industries and giving a glimpse of the working lives in the times since the Industrial Revolution.

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black and white photograph of a large concrete building, a hydroelectric power plant, by water

Engineering photography: Eduards Kraucs and the construction of the Ķegums hydroelectric power plant in Latvia

The construction of the Ķegums Hydropower Plant was one of the greatest achievements of the Latvian state during the interwar period. This blog introduces the photography of Eduards Kraucs whose collection of photographs documenting the construction reflects a unique industrial heritage and Latvian engineering achievements.

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Dokumentārā mantojuma vērtība – Eduarda Krauca kolekcija par Ķeguma spēkstacijas celtniecību Latvijā 1936. – 1940. gadā

Latvijas valsts starpkaru periodā (1918–1940) viens no lielākajiem sasniegumiem tautsaimniecībā bija Ķeguma spēkstacijas celtniecība. 1939. gada 15. oktobrī iedarbinātā Ķeguma spēkstacija tolaik bija viena no modernākajām hidroelektrostacijām Eiropā. 1939. gada 22. decembrī nodibināja valsts uzņēmumu “Ķegums”, veicinot enerģētikas nozares attīstību un liekot pamatus vienotai valsts elektroapgādei.

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man in protective work clothing emptying a bag into a machine

Catastrophic collateral damage: asbestos at work

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, once valued because of its insulating and fireproofing qualities, was used for fire-resistant garments and other products. However, exposure to asbestos fibres has caused illnesses and death among thousands of workers across Europe and the world.

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back of pair of Lee denim jeans with label

Denim and jeans: making of a fashion icon

Read about the history of denim and jeans, from their invention at the end of the 19th century through to the popular clothing of today.

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young woman using a singer sewing machine

Singer sewing machines: production on a grand scale

The tale of the Singer company and their world-changing sewing machines is one of industrialisation, emancipation, mass production, mass marketing, and a massive impact on the world.

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large groups of men listening to one man speaking

Strike at the Bor Mine in the 1930s: Europe’s first environmental protest?

This blog looks at conditions and protests at the Bor Mine in Serbia, and uncovers what may be one of the first environmental protests in Europe.

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view of factory across a canal with trees and shrubs in foreground

From coffee, tea and tobacco to UNESCO: Rotterdam’s Van Nelle Factory

The Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam grew from a small firm selling coffee, tea and tobacco, to a large factory of steel and glass, the first daylight factory in Europe.

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interior of a telephone exchange with machinery and technology

How the Nordics connected the world: the story of telecommunication industries in Finland and Sweden

Do you remember your first mobile phone? There’s a good chance it came from a Nordic country, since Nokia from Finland or Ericsson from Sweden together dominated the global mobile phone market in 2000.

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photograph of a vespa motorcycle

Vespa and Piaggio: icons of Italian industrial design

The Vespa scooter is an icon of Italian industry and design, a symbol of the 1950s. This blog looks at the industrial heritage behind the Vespa, which was produced by Piaggio company.

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Un-hidden: child labour in early photography

Children have been a much-loved subject of pictures from the very early days of photography. A substantial amount of 19th and early 20th century photography featuring children has a social documentary value rather than solely an aesthetic one, portraying the harsh lives of children at work – a silent and often ignored group in the industrial age.

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lorry with large orange trailer with words Jacobs Cream Crackers

Jacob’s Biscuit Factory in Dublin: the historic home of the cream cracker

The Jacob’s factory in Dublin is an icon of Ireland’s industrial heritage. The blog, illustrated with newly digitised material from Dublin City Library and Archive, tells the history of the Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, home of the cream cracker.

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sepia photograph of the grand interior of a library

Paper processes: tips for achieving a paperless office

Is a paperless office possible? In this blog discover tips about workflows and processes helping to stop wasting paper while encouraging productivity and mindfulness.

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group of men in a large factory building

Progress in war making: the industrialisation of World War I

Industrialisation played a major role in World War One. New military machinery could be produced at a much larger scale and at a much faster rate than before. Along with innovative technology, this led to one of the most devastating wars in human history.  This concerns the production of materials for military purposes – clothing, […]

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room in which there are rows of machinery

Textile technology: Joseph-Marie Jacquard and the loom that changed the world

Between 1801 and 1806, French weaver Joseph-Marie Jacquard developed a machine that was then seen as one of the most important technological advancements in history: the Jacquard Loom.

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man smoking pipe and wearing a hat in front of an industrial landscape

The Bor Mine in Serbia: labour and landscape throughout the 20th century

Mining has been taking place in Bor, eastern Serbia, for centuries – intensified and industrialised since the discovery of copper ore in the early 1900s. This blog explores the 20th century industrial heritage of mining in Bor.

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