Vetluga Settlement near the Satkinskii 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), subsequently a link in the Trans-Siberian Railway through the southern Urals. A spur line was built between Berdiaush Station (on the main line) and the Bakal iron mines, located around 80 kilometers to the southwest. Located on the western slope of Mount Irkuskan in the southwestern Urals (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast), the mines are one of the richest sources of ore in the world. The development of the mines began in 1757 as part of an ironworking complex launched in the region by Ivan Tverdyshev and Ivan Miasnikov. In 1910 the Bakal mines belonged to the Satkinskii Factory, located around 30 kilometers to the northeast. This sweeping panorama was taken from Mount Bulandikha, and shows a view of the village of Rudnichnoe in a broad valley. Rudnichnoe was part of the settlement group located near the mines. In the distance is the Suida Range. The wooden houses in the foreground have red iron roofs. 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

Поселение Ветлуга у Саткинского 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