Olonets Metallurgical Works

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Olonets Metallurgical Works


metallurgical enterprises of the manufactory type in Russia that were founded in the second half of the 17th century in the Transonega region, where iron had been mined from bog and lake ores since the 13th and 14th centuries. The Petr, Povenets, Konchezero, and Alek-sei works were built in the early 18th century; the Petr Plant was the most important among them, giving birth to the city of Petrozavodsk.

The Olonets Metallurgical works used forced labor of mas-terovskie krest’iane (peasant artisans) and pripisnye krest’iane (peasants assigned to an enterprise). Disobedience was met with corporal punishment. Antifeudal demonstrations, such as the Kizhi uprising of 1769–71, were suppressed by armed force. After the end of the Northern War (1700–21), metallurgy in the Olonets area fell into decline. After the mid-1730’s only the Konchezero Works continued to produce cast iron and copper. Many artisans were transferred to the Urals.

After the construction of the Aleksandr Cannon Foundry in 1773–74 and, somewhat later, of branches of the works on Lake Konchezero (reconstruction) and in Kronstadt and St. Petersburg, the Olonets Metallurgical Works again became one of the most important arsenals for the navy and army. From 1774 to 1874 the works produced about 36,000 artillery pieces of various bores. The Kronstadt and St. Petersburg works became separate plants in 1827. During the postreform period the Aleksandr Works produced only artillery shells. In the early 20th century the iron foundries on Konchezero and in Suoiarvi and Valaam were shut down. Only the Aleksandr Works remained in operation; in 1918 it was renamed the Onega Machine-building Plant (now the Onega Tractor Plant).


Balagurov, Ia. A. Olonetskie gornye zavody v doreformennyi period. Petrozavodsk, 1958.
Balagurov, Ia. A. Fabrichno-zavodskie rabochie dorevoliutsionnoi Karelii (1861–1917). Petrozavodsk, 1968.
Glagoleva, A. P. Olonetskie zavody v pervoi chetverti XVIII v. Moscow, 1957.


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