Our series about the history of Mannerin Konepaja continues 5/9
World War I is over and Finland is becoming independent
Manner is seeking to make business thrive in a world of great upheavals. Hanko was not spared the unrest and turmoil that dominated 1917. Demonstrations, a general strike, food shortages. Juho Manner is already tired of all this and sells his shop to his son, Yrjö Manner. The workshop was busy repairing Russian warships, but after Finland became independent, they returned home, and the outbreak of the civil war in Finland stopped the operations of Mannerin Konepaja.
After the hostilities ceased, there was fierce competition in the engineering sector in Hanko. Manner, however, came out as the winner and eventually bought one of its competitors, Hangö Mekaniska Verkstad, in 1922. The company continued repairing ships, but the traffic at the port of Hanko declined in the late 1920s. The experience Manner gained during the war repairing warships came to Manner’s rescue when it started to repair ships belonging to the Finnish Navy.
The change of times was evident at Manner when the company acquired its first car in 1923. The premises were also too cramped, and Manner started to build a new commercial premises in Pitkäkatu, where the company still operates today. Manner’s workshop moved to the new headquarters in January 1931. In addition to the larger premises, the new site also had the advantage of being located right next to the railway.