It was quite common in the 17th century for citizens in the Mälaren valley to invest in the iron industry. The first bar-iron forge at Trångfors was established in 1628 by Adolf Willemson, a merchant from Västerås. It started off small, with just three workers.
In the latter half of the 18th century, the Strömsholm canal cut straight across the Trångfors estate and the old manor house had to be pulled down. The existing forge was built in 1799. Good use was made of the water from the canal: an enclosed timber trough from the canal provided water power for the forge hammer. When the Lancashire method was introduced in 1875, production rose sharply and peaked in 1900 at an annual output of 3,100 tonnes. But by 1915, the forge had been closed down.
One of the four Lancashire furnaces has been restored, and work is under way on the water-wheel and trough. The mumbling hammer has been given a new base. In time, the intention is to be able to demonstrate the pig-iron refining process and mixing of the melt in the forge.
A congenial room with a cosy open fire is available for hire for private functions and meetings. It has been set up in the former spark-machining workshop next door to the forge.
A room above the forge, which used to be a rest room for the forge workers between shifts, has now been converted into a meeting room. The murals on the walls were painted by Gunnar Hall. Next door to that is the charcoal storehouse, which dates from 1800. The charcoal wagons ran straight in here and tipped their load from the ramps at the top of the furnace.
The Trångfors power station on the other side of the river was built in 1898–9 by a firm of consulting engineers, Qvist & Gjers, of Arboga. A water trough was built at the side of the waterfall and it carried the water over a distance of several hundred metres to the works. The power station operated until 1988 and is now a museum. The original equipment has been preserved. The station has six horizontal turbines each generating an output of 400 hp. The generators were manufactured by ASEA and were awarded the “Grand Prix” at an international industrial exhibition in Paris in 1900.
Every August, there is a Trångfors open day when the building is open to visitors, who can also watch barges being locked through on the canal.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.