Stone-Excavating Machine of the Single Scoop Type Svirskaia No. 2. Russian Empire
A major component of the Volga-Baltic Waterway (formerly called the Mariinsk Canal System), linking Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin, is the Sheksna River, which drains the southeastern part of White Lake (Beloe ozero). The original length of the Sheksna was 395 kilometers, from White Lake to the Sheksna’sconfluence with the Volga at the town of Rybinsk. At the turn of the 20th century the Ministry of Transportation devoted considerable resources to improving the Sheksna for water transportation. A major part of this work involved the constant dredging of the river’s shallow bed in order to create a usable navigation channel. Shown in this 1909 photograph is the steam-powered Svir 2 stone excavation machine, with a single dredging device. The Svir 2 operated on the Sheksna between the village of Chernaia Griada and the town of Cherepovets. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Title in Original Language
Камнечерпательная машина одночерпаковаго типа "Свирская 2-ая." [Российская империя]
Type of Item
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 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.
Last updated: September 23, 2016