View of the Kasli Plant


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. Among the towns Prokudin-Gorskii visited in 1909 was Kasli (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast). Kasli had a number of metalworking enterprises centered on an iron smelter and foundry established in 1747 by Timofei Korobkov. In 1751 the factory was bought by the Demidov family; it subsequently was acquired by various owners in the 19th century. The Kasli plant still functions and is renowned for its cast iron work. At the center of this view are long brick buildings in the foundry complex. The near courtyard is shrouded in smoke. A tall brick smokestack rises from a nearby building. Beyond the factory are rows of wooden houses, many of which have pitched metal roofs typical of factory towns in the Urals. In the middle distance is a white chapel enclosed by a fence. In the far distance at the edge of Big Kasli Lake is a white church and bell tower that apparently formed the center of a convent (no longer extant). 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

Вид на Каслинский завод

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