Month: February 2019

Changing Lives in Imperial Russia

From people harvesting tea in Georgia, to railway construction in the northern city of Murmansk, this first round of posts highlights the ethnic and geographic diversity of Imperial Russia at a time when the world seemed both very traditional and in flux. This first edition of our course digest includes an abundance of featured content, touching on everything from sword making, bridge construction and industrialization to the changing fortunes of peasant women in central Russia and modern day Turkmenistan.

The semester’s first student’s choice award goes to a marvelous discussion of the lived experiences and imagined futures of a peasant girl holding a bowl of strawberries. Please enjoy these posts and the whole weekly edition. We’ll be back with news about the life after the 1917 revolutions in a few weeks!

Going off the Rails on a Murmansk Train

Here is a picture taken by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky in 1915. The photo is called Ladva Station on the Murmansk Railroad. Uneveness of the Railway.  Prokudin captured this photo (along with thousands of others) while traveling through the Russia Empire. Murmansk is a port city in northwest Russia. It was the last city founded in the Russian Empire. Murmansk gives people in western Russia highway … Continue reading Going off the Rails on a Murmansk Train

Fishing for Change

Prokudin-Gorskii was born in 1863, and was educated as a chemist. He was fascinated with color photography, and worked along side a multitude of renown scientists, in order to advance color photographic technology. His goal was “to educate the schoolchildren of Russia with his ‘optical color projections’ of the vast and diverse history, culture, and … Continue reading Fishing for Change

Zlatoust, “Golden Tongued” Double Etched Sword

This image from Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) depicts Zlatoust Station, located outside the Ural Mountains in the northwest area of present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast. Between 1909 and 1912, Prokudin-Gorskii made many trips to this area capturing images of railroads, factories, urbanization, and nature. It is no mistake that zlatoust means golden-tongued in Russian. Founded … Continue reading Zlatoust, “Golden Tongued” Double Etched Sword

Some Irregular Industrialization

Russia through the mid to late 19th century was undergoing the tumultuous process of industrialization, which resulted in the problematic abolition of serfdom, and the strenuous attempt to move traditionally rural citizens into industrializing regions. This process took place with varying degrees of success, but some regions on the peripheries of the Empire experienced the … Continue reading Some Irregular Industrialization

Blog Post #1

In the summer of 1905, with the army off fighting the Japanese in the eastern frontiers, workers were seeing their acts of defiance go unpunished as the state started granting concessions to the people. The Shidlovskii Commission was started by the Tsar to uncover the reasoning behind the unrest being expressed by his people. Unfortunately, […]

Prokudin-Gorskii Photograph

Image from: Factual information about photo from: When looking at the photographs taken by Prokudin-Gorskii, I wanted to really focus on the images that had a significant historical background to go with them. I felt as though the pictures with more background would really provide a better insight to the social and economic changes …

Continue reading “Prokudin-Gorskii Photograph”

Zlatoust Factory

The photo is showing a production shop for scabbards at the Zlatoust plant taken in 1910. Scabbards are the leather or metal protective cover for swords or knife’s, which were very important as swords were mass produced. Prokudin-Gorskii was able to capture this image and many others during this time with the help from Tsar … Continue reading Zlatoust Factory