Catharina Elisabeth Kijk – Teijon kartanonrouva ja ruukinomistaja
AbstraktiCatharina Elisabeth Kijk: Chatelaine and iron manufacturer
When Catharina Elisabeth Kijk (1721–1788) inherited her husband, mining councillor Johan Jacob Kijk (1706–1777), she became the wealthiest person in Finland, then belonging to the Kingdom of Sweden. Her property included the ironworks of Teijo, in Perniö, which she ran successfully until her death. At the time, as a rule, women were not allowed to own any property or to run a business. Widows, however, were an exception. This gave Catharina Elisabeth Kijk the possibility to manage the ironworks, as well as the other family assets, which included e.g. a copper mine, a sawmill, a tobacco factory, a brick works, a sugar mill, a shop in Turku, and investments in shipping. During her time in Teijo, she rebuilt the most important parts of the ironworks. The blast furnace was built in 1784 and the forge in 1782. She also improved the quality of forgings and metal castings. As a result, the ironworks was economically successful, and it provided half of the forgings needed in Turku. In her will she was able to leave to her children at least as big a heritage as she had received herself. She also founded a trust to organise a school for the factory workers’ children of Teijo.