SCHLEDAM, a town of the Netherlands, in the province of South Holland, not far from the confluence of the Schie with the Maas, 3 miles by rail from Rotterdam. It is best known as the seat of a great gin manufacture, which, carried on in more than two hundred distilleries, gives employment besides to malt-factories, cooperages, and cork-cutting establishments, and supplies grain refuse enough to feed about 30,000 pigs. Other industries are ship- building, glass-blowing, and candle-moulding. Schiedam, which as recently been growing rapidly towards the southwest in the Nieuw-Frankenland, is not behind the larger of the Netherlands cities in the magnificence of its private residences, but none of its public buildings are of much. note. It is enough to mention the Groote or Jans-Kerk, with the tomb of Cornelis Haga, ambassador to Turkey, the ald Roman Catholic church, the synagogue, the townhouse, the exchange, the :11.1usis Sacrum, the post office (Blaauwhuis), and a ruined castle (Huis to Riviere). The population of the commune increased from 9157 in 1811 to 12,360 in 1840, 21,103 in 1875, 23,035 in 1880, and 24,321 in 1884; the population of the town was 18,854 in 1870.
Schiedam, which first appears in a document of 1264, obtained privileges from Floris V. in 1275, and gradually acquired importance as a commercial town. In the 16th century it had a considerable share in the herring fishery and carried on salt-making, brick-making, and wearing, and began to turn its attention to distilling. The town was flooded in 1775.