Iurezan Bridge with Excavation
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), subsequently a link in the Trans-Siberian Railway. This view looks toward a pair of railroad bridges that cross the Iurezan’ River just to the west of Ust-Katav (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast). The Iuriuzan (as it is now spelled) is a left tributary of the Ufa River, which flows into the Kama River as part of the Volga River basin. The track bed was cut into the side of sedimentary karst cliffs at the edge of the river. Rubble from the cliffs was used to construct the embankment. The bridges rest on stone piers and are supported underneath by deck truss work designed by the engineer Nikolai A. Beleliubskii (1845–1922), who designed numerous bridge projects on this railroad line. The mottled appearance of the river seen in the center of this image was caused by the motion of the water during the three separate exposures Prokudin-Gorskii used in his photographic process. 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
Юрезанский мост с выемкой
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