Russian factory owners of the 18th century.
Afanasii Abramovich Goncharov. Born 1705 (according to other sources, 1692 or 1699); died 1784. A retail trader (posadskii chelovek) of Kaluga. In 1774, “for the spreading of factories,” he received the rank of collegiate assessor with the right of hereditary dvorianstvo (nobility) and the right to purchase votchinas (patrimonial estates) with serfs.
In the second half of the 18th century the Goncharovs owned linen, paper, and metallurgical factories and a number of large votchinas. The main industrial enterprise of the Goncharovs was the linen and paper factory of Kaluga Province—the largest in the country. In the 1760’s, 1770’s, and 1780’s, it employed up to 3,500 people and each year produced 300,000 to 350,000 arshins (235,000 to 270,000 yards) of linen. Sailcloth of high quality was exported, and paper was sold on the domestic market. In the 19th century the linen production declined, and the paper industry was transformed into a capitalist factory. The grandson of the founder of the family business, Afanasii Nikolaevich Goncharov (born 1760 or 1763; died 1832), the grandfather of Natalia Goncharova (the wife of A. S. Pushkin), wasted the family fortune. A. S. Pushkin visited the home of the Goncharovs in Polotnianyi Zavod in 1830 and 1834. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 the former estate of the Goncharovs in Polotnianyi Zavod was destroyed by the fascist German invaders.
REFERENCEKogan, G. Polotnianyi zavod: Po Pushkinskim mestam. Moscow, 1951.
E. I. RUBINSHTEIN