Документы жизни и деятельности семьи Нобель том 5 - Мелуа А.И
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After the successful startup of their father’s military business, the Nobels built another plant in the district of Peterburgskaya Storona (now Vyborgskaya Naberezhnaya). Initially, L.E. Nobel had rented the facilities of Merchants I. and T. Sherwoods, then the Nobels built their first plant there. In its size the new plant was much larger than the previous plant. Later it was called Ludwig Nobel. In the Soviet times it was known as Russian Diesel Plant**.
The appearance of the new plant in 1862 signified the success of Ludwig Nobel’s business after his father’s forced departure from Russia. The talent of the Nobel family father as engineer and inventor was required in Russia at the verge of the Crimean War. However, after Russia lost the war, the number of government orders went down, and the first Nobel enterprise became financially insolvable. The bankruptcy had a lot to do with the fact that the first Nobel plant was mostly oriented toward the needs of the sea. The experience suggested that the plant would have benefited from at least one facility working
** Unfortunately, Russian Diesel Plant stopped production in the 1990s. To this day, however, many of its buildings and production facilities are still in use. The Nobel House at 19 Vyborgskaya Naberezhnaya has been left vacant and unattended. In the Soviet times the mansion had housed the Club of Russian Diesel Plant.
on orders from different industry sectors. Creditors went to Ludwig (obviously recognizing his expertise in the area) asking him to proceed with all the necessary measures to terminate the activities of the enterprise and then determine the future direction of work. Ludwig was appointed the caretaker of the bankrupt business.
Having inherited his father’s entrepreneurial skills, Ludwig settled the bankruptcy case and developed and implemented a new program of development for the Nobel Family business in Russia. This development rested on good knowledge of Russian realities and the continuing authority of the Nobel Family as business partners.
Since the very beginning the Ludwig Nobel Plant was formed as a major machine-building enterprise that could produce all kinds of machinery, mechanisms and devices. This was the second stage in development of the Nobel system of machinery production management. In 1870 L.E. Nobel purchased the plant from the lessors. The book shows some convincing data on the growth of the plant, the expansion of its facilities and the increasing number of products manufactured by the plant.
Meanwhile Robert Nobel moved from Sweden to Finland, where he continued, among other things, to research explosives. After the Senate of Finland prohibited him from doing this research, he returned
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to Sweden .
In 1870 Robert was invited by Ludwig to come to St. Petersburg to work on the Nobel enterprise. One of his tasks was to find enough chestnut wood for guns. With this purpose he went to Azerbaijan. However, suddenly, oil extraction attracted his attention. After his visit to Baku, since 1876, the oil business became the most important direction in the work of the Nobels in Russia. (In 1876 Ludwig and his elder son Emanuil had visited Baku for the first time.) Until his return to Stockholm in 1880, Robert had actively participated in the work planned by the Nobel Family in Russia.
Oil extraction in Baku was carried out by the Nobels in considerable competition with other Russian entrepreneurs. Selling oil products in Russia required that the Nobels put forth an effort to counteract the dominance of Rockefeller oil products delivered to Russia mostly from the US. The Nobels gradually squeezed out Rockefeller suppliers from Russia.
In the late 19th and early 20th century oil products determined the development of significant industries and, later, transport. To this end, the Nobels built new plants in Baku and other Russian cities.
About the same time, some secondary sources suggest, the Nobels had attempted to create in Russia the dynamite production facility using the patents of Alfred Nobel. However, this proposal was not supported by the Russian authorities. Considering that the Princedom of Finland was a part of Russia at the time, there must have been some connection between the prohibition of Robert’s activities and the refusal to set up the plant.
New mechanical shops, transport and other facilities were created in Baku, Batumi and in some other locations of the Russian South, so as to accommodate partial refinement of oil and transporting oil products.
The main industrial base of the Nobels continued developing in other cities where Nobel plants or plants of their partner companies were represented, including St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kolomna, Izhevsk and Tula. Oil product terminals and warehouses scattered across Russia were often more capacious than the terminals and warehouses on the Caucasus. The largest of those were located in Astrakhan, Rybinsk and Tsaritsyn. The Nobels had had extensive facilities in some 40 Russian cities; in the archives there are many dozens of thousands of pages of various documents on this topic. Researchers have just started their work on these documents. These archives are many times more extensive than Nobel archives in other countries, where the only documents pertained to the dynamite project of Alfred Nobel and some episodic partner orders of the Nobel Family from Russia****.