Документы жизни и деятельности семьи Нобель том 5 - Мелуа А.И
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Studying in detail the experience of Russian and European entrepreneurship of the Nobel Family, we find not only the common financial resources (Alfred had owned some 13% of the family’s Russian company’s shares). They also shared the approaches and the principles of organizing production. In Europe and in Russia the Nobels had set up laboratories (most of them chemical labs), and worked to arrange all the necessary equipment. The Nobels had also contributed to introducing the meter system in Russia.
Over the first several years the Ludwig Nobel plant manufactured products that could not have been designed and developed without the necessary equipment or laboratories: gun carriages, rifles, bombs, machine guns, mounts, etc. Russia, as other European countries, had learned its war lessons. In the 1870s all armies were re-equipped. For that purpose many plants were rebuilt, and their sets of equipment were upgraded. The Ludwig Nobel plant not only modernizes its equipment but produces new equipment for other plants in Tula, Sestroretsk and Izhevsk. Some of the new mechanisms were designed in the design bureau at the Nobel Plant in St. Petersburg, as Nobel Family patents show (see the first volume of the Nobel Family Documents Series). Ludwig was a renowned expert in arms, and P. A. Bilderling, appointed manager of the Izhevsky Plant, sought his assistance in technological matters. Over two years (1871-1872) the Ludwig Nobel Plant made and delivered more than 1,000 pieces of machinery of Izhevsky Plant.
**** It is essentially important to introduce the most valuable documents from Russian and foreign Nobel archives into the scientific and cultural discourse. This collection of publications has been created for the same purpose. Concurrently we have been working on digitizing the archives. Today our database has dozens of terabytes of information on this topic.
The St. Petersburg plant of the Nobel Family assisted in verifying the quality of goods delivered to Russia. Each product underwent testing for effectiveness of all indicators that established the effectiveness of the future product. Some of the foreign novelties required reprocessing. For instance, the American rapid-fire Gatling gun was considered too complex in production and too unreliable in application. After remodeling on the Nobel Plant, the Ministry of War authorized manufacturing of this gun for the needs of the Russian Army (a total of 80 guns were delivered in 1873-1875).
Changes in Russian foreign policy had had an influence on production. After the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano between Russia and Turkey on February 19, 1878, and the subsequent military tension between Russia on the one side and England and Austria on the other, the Nobel Plant in St. Petersburg received a large order from the Russian government to produce armament and ammunition.
Large military plants had had general purpose divisions in their structure as well. Their modernization and reproduction was yet another goal of the Ludwig Nobel Plant. The plant designed and produced hydraulic presses, furnaces, steam hammers, rope gearing, chaser factories, etc. A similar civilian objective was also being implemented: in the course of the military operations of Russia near Ashgabat, the General Headquarters had ordered water desalinators to provide the army with fresh water on the territories with only salty lakes and salt marshes. The first water desalinators were immediately delivered to the shore of the Caspian Sea and turned over to the troops commanded by General Mikhail Dmitrievich Skobelev.
To carry out the contracts and assignments of the Russian government the Nobels and their engineers traveled to various remote locations away from St. Petersburg. A more solid foundation had to be laid for a base in the heartland. The Nobels solved this problem by acquiring shares of new companies and creating permanent working groups of their experts. This was the third stage of development of the enterprise management system of the Nobel Family. The Russian network of the Nobel Family business was gradually formed around the Ludwig Nobel Plant.
After oil industry orders first appeared, and oil refineries were built, the need arose to set up hundreds of oil terminals and sales outlets. As a result, specialized laboratories and measuring facilities appeared, and measuring and analysis equipment was developed or acquired. Since the activities of the Nobel Family involved many thousands of experts in Russia and abroad, in order to provide methodological assistance and ensure unity of procedures, the Nobels began printing methodological documents and books (the total number of books exceeded 100 titles). Most of these books have been digitized and became a part of the digital collection of Gumanistika Science Publishers. The thoroughness
and quality of this work has been recorded, for example, in the fact that Nobel cannons participated in Turkestan campaigns of General Konstantin Petrovich Kaufman: in conditions of rough terrain and poor climate the wheel naves remained well-greased, and the cannons were always ready for action.