Mugan. Inn in Petropavlovskoe


Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) was a pioneer in the development of color photography. In the early 1900s, he formulated an ambitious plan to carry out a photographic survey of the Russian Empire. After gaining the support of Tsar Nicholas II, between 1909 and 1915 he completed surveys of 11 regions, traveling in a specially equipped railroad car provided by the Ministry of Transportation. This photograph depicts a building in the Russian settlement of Petropavlovskoe that housed both an inn and a sewing machine shop. The shop, identified by the sign “Sewing Machines by the Singer Company” on top of the building, was located on the ground floor while the hotel was upstairs. A smaller sign above the door on the left reads “Hotel New World with Furnished Rooms and Exemplary Cuisine.” Singer sewing machines were first brought to the Russian market in the 1880s and were immediately popular. By 1914, Russia was Singer's second largest market, behind only the United States. In the early 1900s, 3,000 Singer sewing machine shops operated in different parts of the Russian Empire. They were easily recognized by the Singer signboard with the company's trademark. In this photograph, the Singer signboards are located to the left of each of the storefront windows. The sign also shows the Russian Singer sewing machine logo, complete with a seamstress in traditional dress.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Мугань. Гостиница в Петропавловском

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)


  • Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at

Last updated: November 7, 2017