(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 His works, both published and unpublished, are highly esteemed sources for knowledge of ironand steelmaking during the eighteenth century, both in Sweden and in the countries he visited.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).
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