Alternators Made in Budapest, Hungary, in the Power Generating Hall of a Hydroelectric Station in Iolotan on the Murghab River


This photograph shows alternators in the power generating hall of the Hindu Kush hydroelectric station at Iolatan on the Murgab (Morghab) River in present-day Mary Province, southeastern Turkmenistan. The Murgab River flows from Afghanistan into Turkmenistan and forms part of the border between the two countries. The hydroelectric station was completed in 1909. The caption indicates that the machines were manufactured in Budapest. Cotton production was a priority in the Russian economic development of this region, and hydroelectric power was essential to the development of the cotton industry. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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 parts of the empire. Prokudin-Gorskii was particularly interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), which he visited on a number of occasions, including two trips in 1911. Turkestan appealed to him not only for its magnificent monuments of Islamic architecture, but also for the development that came in the wake of Russian settlement.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Генераторы, сделанные в Будапеште, Венгрия, в генерирующем зале ГЭС в Иолотани на реке Мургаб

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 30, 2016