Verkh-Isetskii Factory near the City of Ekaterinburg


From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural scenes. This photograph shows the Verkh-Isetskii Zavod (factory on the Upper Iset’), one of the earliest settlements near the town of Ekaterinburg. The factory in the settlement was established in 1726, after Peter the Great implemented a strategy to build metalworking facilities near iron ore sources in the Urals. Hydraulic power for the factory came from a large pond (visible in the background) created in 1724 by damming the Upper Iset’ River. In the foreground are wooden houses for workers, with enclosed yards extending in the rear. In the middle distance are the extensive brick buildings of the factory, which still operates. The white building on the left was built for the factory administration in the 1820s by architect Mikhail Malakhov (1781–1842), a local master of the neoclassical style. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Верх-Исетский завод около г. Екатеринбурга

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: September 28, 2016