Industrial Design and Construction, 1907-1908

When large industrial facilities were built in the early 20th century, much of the old methods were used--manual labor, bricklayer crews, long aprons, wheelbarrows, and teams of spademen from local villages. But new revolutionary technologies were already emerging: reinforced concrete, cement mixers, skylights, and mechanical pile drivers to name a few.

B0169

Building a steel carcass for the tunnel in the basement of the factory. December 2, 1907.

B0181

Construction of the central boiler plant. March 11, 1908.

B0182

Installation of Fitzner and Gamper boilers in the central boiler plant. March 26, 1908.

B0187

A newly assembled boiler plant. June 4, 1908.

B0189

A view of the central boiler plant from the west. November 24, 1907.

B0194

Construction of the tunnel in the roving room. March 2, 1908.

B0195

Construction of underground communications in the roving room. March 2, 1908.

B0196

Construction of the roving room. Glukhov Textile Mill. March 24, 1908.

B0199

An engineer and a fire guard at the construction site. January 19, 1908

B0202

Installation of the draw ventilation system in the roving room. May 6, 1908.

B0203

Reinforcing ventilation air ducts in the roving room. May 26, 1908.

B0204

Finishing work in the roving room. May 18, 1908.

B0205

Laying bricks at 45° for the walls and partitions as suggested by engineer Banikovsky (standing right). May 6, 1908.

B0207

Preparing for the installation of the glass light fixtures in the roving room. 1908.

B0208

Slasher room. November 11,1908.

B0211

Finishing the ceiling in the slasher room. May 26,1908.

B0253

Laying the foundation for the ventilator over the slasher room. March 11, 1908.

B0213

Assembly of the slasher equipment. September 11, 1908.

B0219

Testing concrete beams supporting the transmission line. November 24, 1908.

B0221

Installation of square brackets for the transmission line. June 20, 1908.

B0222

Installation of electric wiring to power the engines. 1908.

B0224

The central hallway and the locker room. July 6, 1907.

B0257

Assembly of the looms. July 5, 1908.

B0225

Installation of the looms. May 5, 1908.

B0228

A shipment of individual lockers for the factory workers arrived. August 26, 1908.

B0234

Laying down cement for the central building. October 8, 1907.

B0261

Construction of the roof over Building 2. August 30, 1907.

B0237

Roof over Building 2. 1908.

B0238

A bird's eye view of the roof from the Engineer Werner's Tower. October 10, 1908.

B0239

Building the skylight roof of the central building. In the photo: a construction worker and photographer, A.S. Iliyn. October 8, 1907

B0242

Laying cement reinforcement on the roof over the slasher room. August 23, 1907.

B0243

Putting a coat of tar over the roof of the central building. September 10, 1907.

B0262

Construction of the glass conical skylights over the slasher room and the boiler stack. August 30, 1907.

B0245

Laying sand on the roof of the central boiler plant. October 10, 1907.

B0247

Laying sand on the roof of the central boiler plant. October 10, 1907.

B0249

View of the mill's roof, conical skylights, and ventilation ducts. September 11, 1908.

B0251

View of the mill's roof, conical skylights, and ventilation ducts. November 24, 1907.

B0252

The police and the firemen on the mill's roof. August 31, 1907.

There was also a new approach to industrial design, unprecedented quality and structural strength of the construction, and distinct early 20th century aesthetics even in the most utilitarian construction components. This exhibition is about one such facility, a textile factory built in Russia in 1907-1908.

A commissioned photographer documented all stages of the factory's construction over the period of two years, from underground tunnels to hanging gardens and individual lockers for workers, a novelty in factory operations at the time. Along the construction stages, the photos show the people who made this factory possible--managers and engineers, bricklayers and electricians, firefighters and  security guards. 

The factory is still operational today, its skylight roof remains a high standard for natural light use in industrial design, and the looms installed in 1908 successfully served until early 1960s.

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