Near Simskii Plant. Zavodskaia Knob


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 view of the Sim Ironworking Factory (Simskii Zavod) was taken from across a factory pond created on the Sim River. The settlement that arose in 1759–60 adjacent to the iron factory (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast) was officially renamed Sim in 1928. In 1774, the factory (which relied primarily on serf labor), its settlement, and a church were burned by Bashkirs during the Pugachev Rebellion. The rebuilt factory resumed operation by the end of the decade. Expanded during the 19th century, the factory benefited in the 1890s from the completion of the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad and the opening of Sim Station, located some nine kilometers from the factory. Rising in the center of this photograph is the forested cone of Zavodskaia (Factory) Knob (hill). At its base are factory sheds surrounded by stacks of firewood. 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

У Симскаго завода. Гора Заводская шишка

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