Molding Shop at 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 including an iron 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. Beginning with the Paris exposition of 1867, items from Kasli were displayed at major international and Russian expositions. Kasli work was awarded a grand prize at the Paris exposition of 1900. Shown here are iron casting forms in a molding shop in one of the main factory buildings. On the shelves to the left are objects produced by the workshop, including pitchers and jugs. The shelf area is lit by three electrical lightbulbs suspended from cords. 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

Формовочная мастерская Каслинскаго завода

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