Yekaterinburg was founded in 1723 to become a plant and fortress city on the Iset River. The site where the city had to be founded was chosen by Vasily Tatishchev. Construction of the plant was supervised by George Willem de Gennin. The city received its name in honour of Empress Ekaterina I
This new plant had the following facilities: 2 blast-furnaces, 14 iron-forging hammers, copper-smelting work, steel and anchor plants, guns drilling machines, etc. The main products were iron, cast iron and copper. At full capacity the plant had never been used. In 1737 the work of blast furnaces were shut down. By the end of the 1750s steel and wire production was decreasing and in 1769 the copper works was stopped. In 1808 the plant in Yekaterinburg was closed down.
In the eighteenth century Yekaterinburg developed as an administrative center of the Ural and Siberia metallurgical industry. The branch administrative system of mining plants in Ural, Altai and Transbaikal was independent from the local authorities. Its main institution was located in Yekaterinburg. After 1781 regulation of the mining part had been decentralized and was subjected to the state government authority.
A stone-cutting workshop was founded in the city in 1738, which became in 1765 the Yekaterinburg lapidary factory. In 1761 throughout the city was built the Siberian post road.
In 1781 Yekaterinburg was granted the status of a city within the Perm principality. In 1783 the city was awarded the coat of arms, and the first elections to the city municipal Duma (council) were organized in 1787. A municipality in XVIII - first half of the XIX century was dominated by merchants, the Old Believers.
In 1807 Yekaterinburg was granted status as a "mining city" according to the "Mining enactment project". The head of the Mining administration and the city council ("Duma") were responsible for the city economy, law and order. Craftsmen and farm workers of local plants were granted a remission of taxation. In 1831 Yekaterinburg hosted the residence of the Head of Mining Administration of the Urals who ruled the city since the 1850s.
In 1726 a mint was built where copper coins were produced for Russia's currency. At first it produced the so-called "plat" (a heavy plate with the face-value equal to the metal price) and than since 1735 all-Russian copper coins. The Yekaterinburg mint produced up to 80% of all copper coins in Russia. Its operations were stopped in June 1876. Stone vases and cups made at the lapidary factory in Yekaterinburg were displayed in the Winter Palace ("Zimniy Dvoretz"). At a mechanical factory founded in 1839 were made water wheels and turbines, steam engines, machine tools, etc. In 1874, the factory lost orders and shut down.
The main merchants' business - tallow-melting, soap industry, leather production, sale of meat and livestock, contracts for transportation of metals. The first creameries works was founded in 1776, tannery - in 1782, soap-making began in the 1787, malting works - since 1785. According to statistics of the year 1804, tallow strained off by 10 plants was evaluated at 603 thousand rubles, 20 tanneries manufactured the leather for 30 thousand rubles, and 9 brick factories were producing up to 400,000 bricks annually (3,600 rubles). In addition, Yekaterinburg merchants owned several flour mills, soap, oil mills and malt plants. They were located on the estate next to the house. Old Believers settled in the so-called "Zaimka", in the southern part of the city.
Since 1820s the richest merchants among Yekaterinburg traders were mining of placer gold in Western Siberia. In June 1826 Yekaterinburg merchant Yakim Ryazanov was one of the first in Russia who obtained permission to engage in gold mining. In company with the merchants F. Kazantsev and S. Balandin at the turn of 1820-1830's he developed the mine in the area of the river Kundustuyul in Tomsk province. For the first 5 years they have managed to produce over 116 tons of gold. A major gold-miner was Titus Zotov, who owned mines in the area of the river Sevaglikon in Yenisei Province. Among the artisans prevailed stone-cutting skills and jeweler's art. Yekaterinburg was the center of the Ural-Siberian Old Believers. After the Emancipation of Serfs in 1861 the mining industry of the Ural region passed through a crisis. In 1863 city society pressed for status abrogation - Yekaterinburg lost its "mining city" status. In 1872 the new City Council was elected by the qualification principle. Influence of mining authorities in Yekaterinburg gradually decreased, which had a positive effect on the city economy. At the same period there was a change of commercial and industrial elite, transport, milling industry and non-manufacturing business began to develop. In 1847, in Yekaterinburg was opened an office of the state commercial bank for lending to the mining industry. In 1864 was established the Public Bank, which capital funds were based on the municipal budget. In 1871 was opened a branch of the Volga-Kama's Bank - the first in the city commercial lending institution. In 1872 the Siberian Trade Bank was founded to become one of the largest banks in Russia by the 20th century. The first railway in the Urals connecting Yekaterinburg to the city of Perm and thus plants of middle Ural with provincial capital was built in 1878 through private capital. In the next decades Yekaterinburg turned to a major railway hub; railway branch lines from Yekaterinburg to Omsk through Tyumen (built in 1885) and to Chelyabinsk (built in 1896) provided connection to the Siberian railway, while a new branch line from Yekaterinburg via Kungur to Perm (built in 1909) led directly to Saint Petersburg. Designed in the early XX century, the railway Moscow lines Yekaterinburg - Kazan were completed only in 1920.
Population growth in Yekaterinburg and rail network promoted the development of the milling industry. In 1884 started working the first steam mill in the Urals, which was owned by city mayor Simanov, and became the leading enterprise in this industry around the Ural-Siberian region. The second steam mill, owned by Borchaninov, was built in 1906 -1908. The Siberian-Ural Scientific and Industrial Exhibition in 1887 had a great impact on the economic and social life of the city.
By 1904, in Yekaterinburg (without suburbs), there were 49 industrial enterprises with a turnover of 4.07 million rubles, more than 300 small establishments and handicraft workshops. The largest are: mechanical plant of F. Yates, manufacturing steam machines, cloth factory of Makarov brothers, brewery of Zlokazov brothers.
In 1917 Bolsheviks came to power in a peaceful way, in March of 1918 the City Duma was dissolved and the City Council was established. In the city settled the Urals Regional Council, headed by A. Beloborodov - the supreme organ of Soviet power in the Urals. Shortly after beginning of full-scale civil war in June - early July 1918 anti-Bolshevik forces were advancing on the city from the Chelyabinsk and Tyumen. On July 17, 1918, Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed at the Ipatiev's House. On July 25 reds forces left Yekaterinburg and in July 28 to the city without a fight entered the Czechoslovak forces of the S. Woytsekhowskiy. In Yekaterinburg was established temporary regional government of the Ural, was resumed operations of City Council and arrived several members of All-Russian Constituent Assembly (Chernov and others). After the Omsk take-over on Nov. 18, 1918 executive power was transferred to S. S. Postnikov, who was the Head of the Urals and was appointed by V. Kolchak, deputies of the Constituent Assembly were arrested. Yekaterinburg at that time was one of the centers of military administration and the formation of the Siberian army, the place where Kolchak wanted to organize a General Headquarters. During offensive operation of the 2nd and 3rd Army on July 14, 1919 red forces re-occupied the city and Soviet authorities were restored.
There were no significant changes in the structure of production after the Civil War, main attention was focused on rebuilding war-torn and nationalized enterprises: Plant Metalist (formerly Yates), a flax spinning factory named after Vladimir Lenin (formerly Makarov brothers), Verkh-Isetsky Metallurgical Plant, and others. By 1924, the gross output reached 4 / 5 of level the year 1913. In the days of the NEP developed a particular craftwork industry, mostly textiles, shoemaking, baking, metalworking (2178 artisans in the fall of 1925). Also in Sverdlovsk appeared a bakery.
In 1923 Yekaterinburg became the capital of the Ural Region, which covered the area today divided among Kurgan, Chelyabinsk, Perm, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk regions. The city was renamed to Sverdlovsk in 1924. On January 7, 1934 the Sverdlovsk Region was singled out from the Ural Region.
Old plants were refurbished and new plants (Ural Heavy Machinery Plant (1933), Uralelektromashina (1934), the Ural Turbo motor Works (1939) and others) were constructed in the first periods of five-year plans. This time defined the city's industrial image. By the beginning of 1940s 85 state companies of national and republican standing were operating in the city; machine-building industry and metalworking accounted for 40% percent of production volume. There were public transport, new power, sewerage and water supply, high-rise buildings, schools and colleges, drama theater and a philharmonic, circus and zoo.
Another major change of the industrial image took place during the years of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Over 50 large plants from all over the country were relocated to Sverdlovsk, on which base new plants being built or existing factories being expanded: Ural Plant of Chemical Engineering, Urals Instrument Plant, the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant, and others. During the war years the total production volume rose six times.
During the years after the war machinery manufacturing and metalworking were still prevailing, but customer-oriented enterprises, such as an oil processing factory, a knitting factory, and a large-panel housing construction plant, also appeared at that time. In 1970-1980s, the military industrial complex continued to expand and encountered for up to 20% of the city's production volume.
In December 1991 the city was renamed back to Yekaterinburg.
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