Документы жизни и деятельности семьи Нобель том 3 - Мелуа А.И
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This decree was followed by a comprehensive range of legislative and administrative measures aimed at the development of industry, commerce and science. The State Treasury allocated 1 million rubles for «manufacturing capital», used to issue loans to manufacturers. Many joint-stock commercial and industrial companies were founded. In 1827 Nicholas I allowed insurance business. A number of laws were adopted in the 1830s to protect private ownership of land and real estate. Industrial exhibitions held since 1829 alternately in Moscow and St. Petersburg were used to promote Russian industries.
These and other measures, which were consistently implemented throughout the first half of the 19th century, brought about noticeable results.
By 1860 the total power of all mechanical engines used at industrial enterprises of the city amounted to some 4,000 horsepower. The most developed industries were engineering and metalworking, which was associated with the construction of the first railway, the development of the steam fleet and extensive use of steel in construction.
The liberal reforms of Alexander II served as another important factor in economic development in Russia. By far the most important of those reforms was abolition of serfdom, which had led to an influx of industrial labor force.
In the period from 1860 to 1863 the number of industrial enterprises in St. Petersburg increased by P/2 times, to a total of 374 factories, most of them private. In subsequent years, their number continued to grow. The industry of the capital led the rest of Russia in terms of the level of technical equipment and labor productivity and predominance of large-scale manufacturing.
Nobel’s Water Two-cylinder Diesel engine,
Measurement Device 60 horsepower, upgraded
at Ludwig Nobel Plant
The plants that belonged to the Nobel Family were among the largest and most successful private enterprises of the capital. These plants were founded in the middle of the 19th century.
The first representative of the Nobel Family, who came to Russia and opened business here, was Immanuel Nobel. In 1838 he opened a small mechanical workshop in the capital. Soon he completed an order for the Navy Department: a sea mine of special design. In 1842, after a test on the river Okhta in the presence of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, the Russian government, according to the business custom of the day, acquired a patent for the mine. This allowed Emanuel Nobel to move his family from Stockholm to St. Petersburg. In 1847 he set up his Foundry Plant and Mechanical Workshop on the left bank of the Bolshaya Nevka near the Sampsonievsky Bridge.
The next Russian enterprise of the Nobel Dynasty was the Iron, Copper, Steel and Boiler Plant (later called the Russian Diesel). It was opened on the Vyborgskaya Naberezhnaya in 1862 by Ludwig Nobel, son of the dynasty founder, Emanuel Nobel. The business flourished in 1877-1878 years, when Ludwig completed various military orders, manufacturing mines, gun carriages, rifles, shells, various machinery and industrial equipment. The plant not only produced various products but was also the site of new technological development projects, state-of-the-art machines and mechanisms. The company laboratory was equipped with the cutting-edge instruments of the time.
Ludwig Nobel was one of the most active members of the Imperial Russian Technical Society since its inception in May 1866. As soon as on November 21 of the same year, at «a meeting of Division 2, chaired by I.A. Vyshnegradsky, Ludwig Emmanuilovich made his first presentation on the machine for molding cast iron, which was a predominantly technical report».
As head of an engineering enterprise, Ludwig Nobel placed special emphasis on technical measurements. He initiated the acquisition of the latest, most accurate measuring instruments, encouraged the development of measurement tools by his employees, and often was himself involved in the design and manufacture of metering equipment.
In particular, Ludwig Nobel invented a device for determining the explosive force of gunpowder, which was widely used in the industry. His name was well known to readers of scientific journals of the time due to a number of interesting inventions that he reported on. In particular, «Le Genie Industriel» magazine published a detailed report on the apparatus designed by Ludwig Nobel, which measured the heat in the furnace during fuel burning and a device for determining light intensity. In 1860 he published a description of the device to measure the amount of water flowing through an opening. The device was based on the known property of certain bodies to dissolve slowly yet uniformly when placed under a stream of water or other liquid. By measuring the weight of the body dissolved under a certain amount of flowing water, the inventor proposed measuring the corresponding amount of water that flowed through. The substances used for measurement were alabaster and aluminous stone.