Gus Crystal Plant
Gus’ Crystal Plant
a large enterprise producing high-quality glassware and unique, highly artistic items, one of the oldest enterprises of the domestic glass industry and the first plant in Russia to produce crystal. Located in the city of Gus’-Khrustal’nyi, Vladimir Oblast.
The Gus’ Crystal Plant was founded by A. Mal’tsov in 1756 as a small factory employing serfs. Until 1917 the plant turned out articles for mass consumption made of plain or colored glass (with colored decorations and gilding), in addition to the crystal items (with diamond facets and engravings) and vases made of two-layer and three-layer etched crystal (at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th). During the Soviet period the plant was reequipped and production processes were made much more highly mechanized (for example, the glassblowing and, since 1940, the pressing of items from multilayered glass, either colorless or colored with oxides of rare-earth elements. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 the plant produced ampuls for medicine and flammable liquids, glass for lighting, vacuum bottles, and flasks. In 1951–52 a production line for the blowing of tea and wine glasses was put into operation, and between 1960 and 1962 a process for the industrial foundry of lead crystal was developed and put into use. Since the 1960’s the artists E. I. Rogov, V. A. Filatov, and others have been creating new types of crystal articles (for example, souvenirs and decorative articles), the character of which is based upon a contemporary understanding of the expressive potentials of the materials and of the methods of artistic and technical treatment. By 1940 the production volume had increased ten times (compared to 1913); by 1958, 16 times; by 1965, 31.6 times; and by 1972, 52 times. In 1958 the plant’s products received a bronze medal and certificate at the Brussels World’s Fair, and in 1968 it was awarded a certificate of honor at the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy of the USSR. In 1971 the plant was awarded the Order of the October Revolution.