Leningrad Kirov Factory

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leningrad Kirov Factory


(formerly the Putilov Factory and, between 1922 to 1934, the Leningrad Krasnyi Putilovets Factory), one of the largest machine-building and metallurgical enterprises of the USSR.

The factory produces heavy-duty agricultural and hauling tractors, main turbogear assemblies for ships of the commercial fleet, and many other complicated machines and mechanisms, as well as high-quality steel and rolled metal and other products, including goods for the consumer market. It was started in 1801 as a state foundry producing artillery shells. In 1868 the engineer N. I. Putilov purchased it and organized it for the production of rails. At the end of the 19th century the factory was converted into a large-scale metallurgical and machine-building enterprise for four kinds of domestic production: metallurgical goods, railroad cars and locomotives, artillery pieces, and ships.

The workers of the Putilov Factory played a large role in the revolutionary movement. In 1891 they were active in the preparation and development of the first revolutionary May Day meetings in Russia; during the Revolution of 1905–07 they organized demonstrations, battled with police and cossacks, and organized fighting squads under the leadership of the Bolshevik organization. From 1912 to July 1914 there were 108 strikes at the Putilov Factory. The workers responded to all the political events in the country, rose in opposition to the Lena massacre, supported the strike of the Baku workers, and played an outstanding role in the overthrow of tsarism in February 1917. During the Great October Socialist Revolution the workers were members of Red Guard detachments that stormed the Winter Palace, protected the Smol’nyi Institute, and seized railroad stations and bridges. The factory workers fought to safeguard the achievements of the October Revolution during the years of the Civil War and military intervention of 1918–20. They produced armored trains and weapons for the Red Army and sent more than 10,000 men into its ranks. At the factory 25 military units and detachments were formed and equipped. V. I. Lenin was often at the factory, and M. I. Kalinin worked there as a lathe operator from 1896 to 1899.

During the 1920’s the factory organized new types of production, made equipment for the Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant, and in 1924 began to deliver the Soviet-designed F-P tractors. On Dec. 17, 1934, it was named the Kirov Factory.

The factory staff contributed to the development of almost every branch of machine building. Prior to the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 it produced tractors, steam turbines, railroad locomotives and cars, engines for grain-harvester combines, diesel switchers, alloy and stainless steels and rolled steel of complicated shapes, railroad cranes, tunneling shields for the construction of the Moscow subway, and also military equipment, including the T-28 tank and weapons. In 1939 the KV tank was designed and put into production there. In the war a part of the factory’s staff and some of its equipment were evacuated to the interior. The remaining workers supplied the Leningrad front with military equipment and helped defend the city. During the siege of Leningrad, 4,680 shells and 770 bombs fell within the boundaries of the factory area; 139 people were killed by fragments from the bombs and shells, 788 were wounded, and more than 2,500 died from starvation. The material damage sustained by the factory was more than 320 million rubles.

After the war the factory produced steam turbines for electric power stations, tunneling shields for the Leningrad subway, steel, and rolled steel stocks and set up the mass production of KT-12 hauling tractors for the lumber industry. In the early 1960’s it began to deliver the main turbogear assemblies for various types of seagoing vessels. It manufactured the GTU-20 gas-turbine plant for the first gas-turbine ship, the Parizhskaia Kommuna, and created the cross-country vehicle Pingvin for exploring Antarctica. In 1962 a thorough reconstruction of the factory was undertaken. The shops have been supplied with modern equipment, machines having programmed control, and automatic lines. The type 350 combined semibatch rolling mill was put into operation. In 1964, series production of the Kirovets (K-700) tractors having a power of 155 kilowatts (220 hp) began.

The Leningrad Kirov Factory has been awarded two Orders of Lenin (1939 and 1951), the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1926), the Order of the Red Banner (1940), and the Order of the October Revolution (1970). The 50th anniversary of the All-Union Lenin Communist Youth League (VLKSM) in 1968 was marked by the award of the Order of the Red Banner of Labor to the Komsomol organization of the factory.


Mitel’man, M., B. Glebov, and A. Ul’ianskii. Istoriia Putilovskogo zavoda, 1801–1917, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1961.
Kostiuchenko, S., I. Khrenov, and Iu. Fedorov. Istoriia Kirovskogo zavoda, 1917–1945. Moscow, 1966.


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