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Entries / Industry (entry)

Industry (entry)

Categories / Economy/Industry

INDUSTRY was one of the most important parts of the economy of St. Petersburg, developing concurrently with the city and growing along. Due to the country’s foreign policy and geography, in the 18th century paramount attention was paid to the development of the military sector. The Admiralty Shipyard, the Foundry Yard, the Arsenal, the Sestroretsk Arms Plant and the Izhorsky Plant, and Gunpowder Mills on the Okhta River were founded In St. Petersburg and adjacent areas. The transfer of the capital to St. Petersburg led to relocation of the State Mint along with a number of publishing houses. The relocation of the Imperial Court to the new capital led to appearance of such enterprises as the Manufactory of Tapestries, the Peterhof Lapidary factory, and Glass and Porcelain Plants. Growth of the city and of its population contributed to expansion of the industry of construction materials and foods. By the end of the first quarter of the 18th century, St. Petersburg became the industrial centre of the country. New branches - ship building industry, paper making industry, sugar industry, tobacco industry – appeared as Russian industry developed. A particular feature of city industry was dominance of sizeable, and in a number of cases, large state manufacturing enterprises employing mostly resident workforce. In the 18th and in the early 19th centuries, St. Petersburg industry was developing along the course generally shaped in the first quarter of the 18th century. Among the new enterprises, most belonged to the state, including St. Petersburg Casting Plant and St. Petersburg Mechanical Plant, Alexandrovsky Iron Foundry, and the Factory for State Paper Making. Development of the textile industry which had earlier occupied a modest place in the city industry profile became a new and important sector. Processing of cotton which appeared at the end of the 18th century took the leading position in this branch. Private business livened up, the number of new factories, mainly textile manufacturing companies started growing in the1820s; new enterprises included St. Petersburg Tulle Factory, Nevskaya Paper Making Factory, Russian Paper Making Factory, and Factories of Thornton and Kersten. The first private factory in metal-working and machine-building industry was the Plant of K. N. Bird founded at the end of the 18th century; in the middle of the 19th century there appeared Baltic Ship Building plant, Nevsky Ship Building and Mechanical Plant, and Metal Plant. Gradually private factories took the leading position in the city industry profile. In the 18th and 19th centuries, steam-engines were used in a number of shipbuilding, metal-working and textile factories, concurrently the city began manufacturing steam engines. After the peasants' reform of 1861, St. Petersburg entered the period of intensive industrial growth: new factories were built and older ones were expanded, the volume of industrial output grew, and the new system of branch enterprises was being formed. Metal-working and machine-building enterprises developed the fastest, and by 1913 their share amounted to about 1/3 of industrial output in the city and over 15% of the total national industrial output in this sector. A considerable part of St. Petersburg industry belonged to the military sector. The majority of ships of the Baltic Fleet, and also many ships of the Black Sea Fleet and Pacific Ocean Fleet were built in St. Petersburg shipyards. City enterprises produced artillery guns of various systems, arms, ammunition, and armour. Steam locomotive building and coach building, producing equipment for factories and plants (steam-engines and steam-boilers, later Diesel engines and turbines as well as pipes, lifting tackles and presses) took a considerable portion in the leading branch of St. Petersburg industry from the1860s. At the end of the 19th century, electrotechnical industry became a separate branch of industry. Geissler Factory and Ericsson Factory produced telephone and telegraph devices, Simens-Schuckert Company produced tram and coupler equipment, electric motors, and dynamos; United Cable Factories produced conductors and cable. By 1912, 57.5% of all the electrical products of the country were made in the capital. Non-ferrous metal processing factories of Rosenkranz and the French-Russian Factory also played an important role. Machine building and metal working were followed by textile industry, which contributed about 20% to the total industrial output. The third place at the end of the 19th century was taken by food industry, and in the beginning of the 20th century, chemical industry ranked third with about 1/4 of total output of the branch in the country. The role of the capital in the sphere of publishing was also significant as 1/3 of all books, albums, and periodicals of the country were published here. All in all by 1913 there were about 1000 factories and plants in St. Petersburg. The social and economic structure of St. Petersburg industry was characterised by predominance of large enterprises and the majority of them were owned by joint-stock companies. A number of factories were included in monopolistic associations, and played a considerable and sometimes determinative role in these associations. Highly concentrated industry lightened the task of industrial nationalisation for the Soviet power. As soon as in 1918 many large enterprises were transferred into the ownership of the state. The events of October 1917 and the Civil War gravely affected the economic life of the city, and the industry was also in deep crisis: in 1921, when the industrial collapse reached rock bottom, the industrial output amounted to mere 13% of the volume of 1913. Back at the time the Party discussion centered on whether the city should be restored as an industrial centre at all. However, it was decided that programmes of economic transformation, electrification and industrialisation of the country and development of transport, communications, and technical re-equipment of agriculture could not be implemented without participation of Petrograd industry. The city retained its significance as an important industrial centre. In the 1920s and the 1930s, power machine building and press building became leading industries of Russian economy. Various civilian ships were built in the shipyards of the city along with military ships; tractor building started; and in the early 1940s Russian radio electronics was born in Leningrad as well. Military industry still occupied a considerable niche. In the beginning of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, three fourths of industrial equipment of Leningrad enterprises were evacuated, the rest of the city’s industrial potential was used to serve the needs of the front and to repair military equipment. The war crippled the Leningrad industry, and in 1945, the production volume amounted to a mere 32% of the volume of 1940. The recovery of the industry continued through the beginning of the 1950s. In the 1950-80s, the paramount development of various branches of machine-building continued as new types of presses were created including those with remote control, and robotised and automated machinery was invented. The city became the centre of the national radio electronics, and the significance of instrument-making industry grew as well. Power machine building and ship building were also important for the city industry as 3/4 of industrial, scientific and technical potential of the city worked for the defence sector. In 1990, 49.7% of the city’s industrial output were contributed by enterprises in the sector of machine-building and metal-working, 14% and 12.8% of the output respectively were contributed by light industry and food industry. In order to optimise manufacturing practices and apply scientific and technical achievements faster and better, in the 1960s a total of 170 industrial research associations were created in Leningrad. By the end of the 1980s and the early 1990s, industrial production became the main sphere of city economic life. The 1990s became the time of market reforms. Privatization of 1992-95 was the most important part of economic reforms. By the end of the 20th century, only 17.2% of St. Petersburg enterprises were still owned by the state. A sharp decline of state orders, the breaking of many economic ties, and loss of sources of raw materials in a number of cases had led to economic crises. The industry was in decline, a number of enterprises (the largest enterprises included) were either conserved or liquidated; by 1996, the volume of industrial output amounted to slightly over 1/3 from the level of 1990. The end of 1990s was the time of stabilisation: a number of enterprises managed to find their niche on the market in new circumstances, and their products were in demand in this country and abroad. By the end of the 20th century, St. Petersburg exported over 12,000 types of various goods which made up a considerable part of the total national industrial output. Considerable changes took place in the structure of St. Petersburg industry: the share of machine building and metal working sectors dropped in 1999 in comparison with 1990 from 49.7% to 41.9%, while the share of the light industry fell from 14% to 2.2%. At the same time the share of food industry grew from 12.8% to 31.8%. The industry is considered one of the important factors in most development plans for the city. Hi-tech sectors, such as shipbuilding and power machine building are considered the most promising industrial sectors. Yet in the further development of the industry some downward trends are predicted due to growth of other sectors, particularly of the sphere of trade and finances.

References: Агафонов Н. Т., Литовка О. П. Изменение функций Санкт-Петербурга в контексте выбора стратегии его развития // Гуманитар. науки. 1999. № 1. С. 3-8; Наука, промышленность, сельское хозяйство и культура в Санкт-Петербурге и Ленинградской области на пороге XXI века: (состояние и развитие): Материалы четвертого съезда Союза УИСП: [В 3 т.]. СПб., 2000; Рыбаков Ф. Ф. Экономика Санкт-Петербурга: Прошлое, настоящее, будущее. СПб., 2000.

V. S. Solomko.

Bird Karl (Charles) Nikolaevich
Ericsson Lars Magnus
Geissler Christian Gottfried Heinrich
Kersten Andrey Semenovich

Агафонов Н. Т., Литовка О. П. Изменение функций Санкт-Петербурга в контексте выбора стратегии его развития // Гуманитар. науки, 1999
Наука, промышленность, сельское хозяйство и культура в Санкт-Петербурге и Ленинградской области на пороге XXI века: (состояние и развитие): Материалы четвертого съезда Союза УИСП: [В 3 т.]. СПб., 2000
Рыбаков Ф.Ф. Экономика Санкт-Петербурга: Прошлое, настоящее, будущее. СПб., 2000

The subject Index
Admiralty Shipyard
Foundry Yard
Sestroretsk Instrumentation Plant
Izhora Plants
St. Petersburg Mint
St. Petersburg Mint
Tapestry Manufacture
Baltic Shipyard and Machine-Building Plant
Nevsky Plant
Leningrad Metallurgic Plant (LMP)
Baltic Fleet