Industrial History of St. Petersburg

Industrial History of St. Petersburg

The industrial history of St. Petersburg is closely connected with its formation as an important economic center of Russia. The first manufacturing enterprises in the northern capital appeared already in the 18th century, and with each new century factories and factories were built in the city and the surrounding area.

Foundation and first industrial enterprises

St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and from the very beginning of its existence has become an important center of the economy. At the beginning of the 18th century, the first shipyards were built here, which became the basis for the development of trade. 

In many ways, the Northern War prompted Peter to actively build a fleet in the vicinity of St. Petersburg. Together with the shipyards, enterprises serving them appeared. 

Then civil industrial enterprises were opened, such as factories, manufactories and production of building materials. Brick factories appeared in the city and suburbs.

By the second half of the 18th century, light industry enterprises and metalworking industries were opening in the capital.

In this century, the Admiralty Shipyard, the Imperial Porcelain Factory, the Izhora Factory, etc. appeared in St. Petersburg.

Industrial development in the 19th century

In the 19th century, St. Petersburg became one of the leading industrial centers of the Russian Empire. It was the time of the industrial Revolution, which led to the growth of industry and the modernization of production processes. During this period, textile, metallurgical, machine-building, chemical and other industries were developed.

During the 19th century, St. Petersburg managed to become an industrial center and a leader in the volume of production of mechanical engineering products. By the beginning of the 20th century and the First World War, electrical engineering and various equipment were being produced in the northern capital.

Kirovsky Zavod, Nevsky Cosmetics, Vagonmash, Sparkling wines, Sevkabel, Russian Gems and others appeared in the city.

Industrialization and expansion of production in Soviet times

During the Soviet Union, the industry of St. Petersburg continued to develop and modernize. In the first half of the 20th century, the authorities focused on improving existing enterprises, rather than opening new ones.

However, after nationalization, small enterprises disappeared and large-scale production came to replace them. For example, this fate befell the food industry. Instead of small factories in Leningrad, the Samson meat processing plant started working. 

Post-industrial development

Since the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, St. Petersburg began to refocus on the development of the tourism industry, attracting foreign capital. The volume of defense products produced has sharply decreased. Small and medium-sized businesses began to appear in the city.

The industrial history of St. Petersburg has become an integral part of its development. The city has managed to turn from a small fortress into a powerful industrial center of Russia. Thanks to its traditions and innovations, St. Petersburg continues to play an important role in the country's economy.

Most of the enterprises, including the oldest ones, have been able to survive to this day. Some continue to perform their direct functions, cultural centers have been built in place of others. 

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