Kharkov Electrical Machinery Plant

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kharkov Electrical Machinery Plant


(full name, 50th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution Kharkov Electrical Machinery Plant), one of the oldest electrical-engineering enterprises in the USSR. The plant manufactures large electrical machinery, electric motors, equipment for control stations, thyristor electric drives, automatic switches, contactors for practically all branches of the national economy, and also consumer goods.

Founded in Riga in 1888 as the Russian-Baltic Electrical Engineering Plant and later acquired by the shareholders of the Russian General Electric Company, the plant was moved to Kharkov when Riga was threatened by a German invasion in 1915. It produced electrical equipment by semihandicraft methods using foreign technical documentation. The plant’s workers took part in the October Revolution of 1917 (the plant was the arsenal of the Kharkov Red Guard), in the Civil War of 1918–20, and in the establishment of Soviet power in the Ukraine. Renamed the State Electrical Plant in 1925, the plant produced MA200 electric motors, turbogenerators with a capacity of 3,500 kilowatts, and other kinds of products on the level of the best foreign models.

During the Great Patriotic War the plant’s workshops were evacuated to cities along the Volga and in the Urals and Siberia, becoming the basis for new large electrical-engineering enterprises producing weapons and matériel for the war effort. What remained of the plant was destroyed during the German occupation of Kharkov from October 1941 to August 1943. By the middle of 1944 the plant was completely rebuilt, although it had begun producing as early as September 1943. From the 1950’s to the 1970’s the plant was modernized, and its basic technological processes were automated and mechanized. About 50 percent of the plant’s output, including electrical machinery, the series AZ700 automatic switches, and thyristor electric drives for blast furnaces and rolling mills, carries the State Mark of Quality. A substantial portion of the output is exported. The plant was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1965 and the Bulgarian Order of Georgii Dimitrov in 1965.


Ocherk istorii Khar’kovskogo elektromekhanicheskogo zavoda, parts 1–2. Kharkov, 1963–65.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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