Kaulin Factory on the Tmaka River


In the summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in Tver’ Province northwest of Moscow. Seen here is the large Rozhdestvenskaya Cotton Mill in Tver’, so named because of its location near the Nativity Monastery on the Tmaka River. The Russian word for the nativity is rozhdestvo. Founded in 1853 by the Moscow entrepreneur Nikolai Kaulin, the enterprise was unofficially known as the Kaulin Mill. It continued to function during the Soviet period and has now resumed the name Rozhdestvenskaya Cotton Mill. The three monumental brick buildings on the right were built as workers’ dormitories by the subsequent owner, the Urals industrialist P. V. Berg, who acquired the mill in 1878. Berg not only modernized and expanded the factory, but also built a number of facilities for the workers. The buildings have now been converted to housing on Spartak Street beyond the territory of the mill. 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

Каулинская фабрика на р. Тьмаке

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 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: January 11, 2017