Goznak

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Goznak

 

(full name, Central Administration of the Ministry of Finances of the USSR for the Issuance of State Currency Notes, Coins, and Orders), a department that supervises paper and printing factories that produce paper money and documents of strict registration (loan obligations, checks, letters of credit, savings-bank books, lottery tickets, postal payment notes, and the like). Goznak also is in charge of the production of highly artistic publications and of special and high quality papers; it also includes mints producing coins, orders, and prize and commemorative medals.

The organization of the St. Petersburg mint (now the Leningrad mint) in 1724, under Peter I, brought about the centralization of the coinage of money in Russia and the beginning of the production of commemorative badges and award medals. In 1818, the Special Office (expeditsiia) for the Preparation of State Documents was organized under the authority of the minister of finances. To produce printed forms for the special office, the Russian academician B. S. Iakobi applied for the first time in the history of printing technology the process of galvanotypy, which he had invented in 1838. In the 1890’s an employee in the special office, I. I. Orlov, invented and worked out a new method of printing, which became known as the Orlov press. He also constructed polychromatic machines that were prototypes of present-day polychromatic machines. Orlov’s machines and the printing methods worked out by him are used in a number of countries.

After the victory of the October Revolution, the Special Office for the Preparation of State Documents was reorganized in 1919 into the Office for the Issuance of State Currency Notes. In 1941 the mint became part of Goznak. There is an all-Union scientific research institute in Moscow under Goznak’s jurisdiction. In the 1920’s the prominent Soviet sculptor I. D. Shadr worked for Goznak, and one of the first designs for monetary notes in the USSR was based on his drawings. In the 1950’sand 1960’s, thanks to the invention by V. A. Oleinik, a mechanic in Goznak’s Moscow printing factory, of an original calculating mechanism and its subsequent development by Goznak’s scientific research institute, the printing and paper factories and Goznak’s mints were equipped with calculators.

N. P. KHRUSHKOV