Skip to main content

Rinman, Sven


(b. Uppsala, Sweden, 12 June 1720; d. Ekskilstuna, Sweden, 20 December 1792)


For generations, the Rinman family produced scientists who worked in training and metallurgy. Sven Rinman was the son of Gustaf Rinman, county treasurer in Uppsala, and Magdalena Leijonmarck.

After studies at the University of Uppsala, he devoted his working life to the metal industries. As director of mining and metallurgy and as adviser to proprietors and managers of mines and iron works all over Sweden—duties he performed on behalf of the Swedish Ironmasters’ Association and the Royal Mines Authority—Rinman made substantial theoretical and practical contributions to the improvement of iron and steel production methods, especially of charcoal blast furnaces. His works, both published and unpublished, are highly esteemed sources for knowledge of ironand steelmaking during the eighteenth century, both in Sweden and in the countries he visited.

Rinman was the first to identify carbon—plumbago, at least—as the causative agent in manufacturing steel from iron. He is also regarded as one of the foremost pioneers in using the blowpipe for analyses. A first-rate inventor and a skilled scientist, he is known as the “father of the Swedish iron industry.”


I. Original Works. Rinman’s books include Anledningar til kunskap om den gröfre jernoch stålförädlingen och des förbättrande (Stockholm, 1772); 2nd ed.., rev. by Carl Rinman, with biography by Gustaf Broling (Falun, 1829), also in German (Vienna, 1790); försök til järnets historia, med tilläntpning för slögder och handiverk, 2 vols. (Stockholm, 1782), also in German (Berlin, 1785); Bergwerks lexicon, 2 vols. (Stockholm, 1788–1789), a descriptive handbook, alphabetically arranged of technical terms in Swedish, German, and French; and Afhandling rörande mechaniquen med tillämpning i synnerhet til bruk och bergwerk, II (Stockholm, 1794).

A fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Rinman published 26 essays in its Handlingar (1745–1781).

II. Secondary Literature. See C. Forsstrand, Sven Rinman. Minnesteckning till 200-årsdagen av hans födelse (Stockholm, 1920); and G. Malmborg, ed., Sven Rinmans tjänsterberättelser rörande den grövre järnförädlingen 1761–1770. Jernkontorets Bergshistoriska Skriftserie, no. 4 (Stockholm. 1935).

Torsten Althin

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rinman, Sven." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . 20 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Rinman, Sven." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . (January 20, 2019).

"Rinman, Sven." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Retrieved January 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.