Metallurgical Capital of the Urals

Автор: Maks Дек 2, 2020

The first blast furnace in the Ural Mountains was installed in the Nevyansk smelter, where it produced its first iron from locally mined ore in December 1701. It is even recorded that Nevyansk’s original smelting was directed by one Jacob Fadeyev, who, less than a month later in January 1702, produced the smelter’s first steel.

The steel that came to be produced in massive quantities in Nevyansk was considered Russia’s highest grade and one of the best grades in Europe.

Nevyansk, located on the eastern slope of the mountain chain that divides Europe from Asia, well deserves its reputation as the progenitor of metallurgy in the Urals. Nevyansk was begun as a state-owned enterprise; however, in March 1702 ownership of the smelter and its blast furnace passed into the hands of a master gunsmith called Nikita Demidov and his son, Akinfy. Through the Demidovs’ efforts, Nevyansk became a showpiece of early eighteenth century manufacturing.

As early as 1710 the smelter was producing from five to ten times the combined iron and steel output of all the state-run ore smelters of the Urals. Because of the success and productivity of Nevyansk, the government of Emperor Peter I dissolved its contracts with other producers in 1713 and turned over to Nevyansk a huge order for artillery cannonballs and in 1715 for the iron and steel needed by the admiralty.

One of the four blast furnaces in Nevyansk was, in its day, the largest anywhere in the world. Even in England, at the time the world’s steel capital, the blast furnace of greatest size could produce no more than a quarter of the Nevyansk output in a single day. In the 1720s Akinfy Demidov, flush with success, ordered the construction of a monument to his prosperity, the Leaning Tower of Nevyansk.

The Demidov blast furnaces of Nevyansk continued to smelt ore throughout the nineteenth century. At the turn of the twentieth century, the plant turned to manufacturing such finished products as water and steam pipes, railway tracks and dredges for Nevyansk’s gold mining industry.

  Рубрика: Russian history 331 просмотров

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