General View of Simskii Plant
In 1909 and 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled extensively in the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural landscapes. In the summer of 1910 he traveled along the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad (built in 1885–90; now the Ufa-Chelyabinsk line), including the Sim River valley. Seen here are houses located at Simskii Zavod (Sim Ironworking Factory). In 1928, the settlement was renamed as Sim (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast); it arose in 1759–60 adjacent to an iron factory that relied primarily on serf labor. The factory was burned in 1774 by Bashkirs during the Pugachev Rebellion (1773–75), but resumed operation by the end of the decade. Expanded during the 19th century, the factory benefited from the opening of the rail station at Sim. Most of the houses seen here are constructed of wood, and a number have red roofs, perhaps constructed of tin. The pasture in the foreground has two large haystacks. The hills in the background are covered with conifer trees. 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.
Title in Original Language
Общий вид Симскаго завода
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 28, 2016