Military Review

Nice blacksmith Nikita Demidov

Nice blacksmith Nikita Demidov 360 years ago, on April 5, 1656, a Russian industrialist and founder of the famous dynasty Nikita Demidov (real name Nikita Demidovich Antufiev) was born in Tula. Being a successful industrialist and entrepreneur, as well as a talented organizer, Nikita Demidov became a major supplier of the Russian army and fleet during the northern war. By 1720, the Demidov Urals produced two-thirds of the metal of the Russian state. Russia received the Ural industrial region and became an exporter from a metal importer.

The founder of the famous family of Russian industrialists Nikita Demidov was from the family of a peasant Demidov G. Antufev. Demid descended from state peasants and came to Tula from the village of Pavshino, which was famous for its iron industry in order to engage in blacksmithing in the city. Demid died in 1664, when his son was eight years old.

The earliest news of Antufev-Demidov dates back to 1686. According to the testimony of the historian V. Klyuchevsky, for the amusing war games of Tsarevich Peter, the Tula guns of the master Demidov were brought to the village of Preobrazhenskoye. In 1691, Demidov came to Moscow to Armory Chamber together with representatives of the Tula Arms Settlement to resolve trade disputes. In the same year, the documents mention "Nikishka Demidov." Tula blacksmiths had strict instructions on the production of gun trunks - up to 2 thousand per year. In addition, they had to deliver trunks, locks and finished guns to the Armory, as many as they wanted and could. Most of all such supplies were made by Demidov. He had a small factory, which he built with his own money, without state money, and used wage laborers.

Thus, already in 1680-1690. Nikita Demidov very successfully traded iron and became the owner of the ironworks, which then made his position completely exceptional, since the other few factories of that time belonged to foreigners and representatives of the nobility.

However, the rise of Demidov as a figure of all-Russian significance begins with acquaintance with Tsar Peter. There are several legends about this meeting. According to one of them, Demidov became known to the tsar by repairing his companion, Baron Shafirov, his German pistol, and even made an exact copy of it. According to another version, the Russian blacksmith was the only one of the Tula gunsmiths who, in 1696, undertook to fulfill the order of the tsar for the manufacture of rifles according to the Western model. During his passage through Tula, the Russian tsar wished to obtain several halberds of a foreign standard and called on local blacksmiths-gunsmiths. Demidov promised to make weapons of an even better standard. He fulfilled his promise. The blacksmith brought to Voronezh an 300 halberd, with which the tsar was pleased and generously awarded the master. Then Peter ordered Demidov's foreign-made guns.

Peter made Demidov a weapon supplier for the army during the Northern War. The guns supplied by Nikita Demidov were much cheaper than foreign ones and of the same quality as them: the Russian industrialist took no more than 1 rubles for his guns. 80 cop, while the treasury bought them for 12-15 rub. In addition, Demidov donated a significant number of cores to the army. Since all weapons were of excellent quality, the king ordered Nikita to become a weapon supplier throughout the war with the Swedes.

Thus, Demidov gained confidence in the king. Nikita became the closest and most active associate of the tsar in the reorganization of the Russian state.

In the 1701 year, the king ordered to disassociate the Strelets lands near Tula in his property, and to mine him, give him a plot in Shcheglovskaya notch. He also issued a special certificate to Demidov, which allowed him to expand production by buying a new land and serfs to work in the factories.

Sweden before the war was the largest supplier of iron and weapons to Russia. However, when the Northern War began, deliveries were stopped. Moscow urgently began to look for internal possibilities for import substitution. Large deposits of iron ore were discovered in the Urals, which became the raw material base for the first iron works: Kamensky, Nevyansky, Uktussky, Alapaevsky. And Demidov was attracted as an expert on ores. According to an extensive program for the development of metallurgy and the military industry, the Nevyansk Iron Works was handed over to Nikita Demidov. When Demidov accepted the plant, only 27 people worked on it. With this, the creation of a huge Ural industrial region began.

In a very short time, Nikita turned the Nevyansky plant into a metallurgical enterprise with high productivity, but did not stop there, and together with his adult son Akinfiy built several more plants: the Shuraly and Bingovsky (1716-1718) hammer mills, Nizhnelaysky (1720) and Nizhny Tagil plants. These enterprises accounted for the glory of the Russian metallurgy and for a long time remained the best and most famous not only in Russia but also in Europe. By the end of the reign of Peter I, the domestic market received enough metal, and Russia began to export iron, year by year more and more.

True, at first it was going hard. The Siberian order conducted unhurried correspondence with the entrepreneur about the quantity and quality of products, about the expansion of the plant. Due to the shortage of coal, the blast furnace stopped. However, Peter ordered to immediately proceed to the case and cast the gun much earlier than scheduled. Demidov was ordered to immediately go to the Urals, threatening to disgrace, punishment and "the ruin of burns without mercy." In the spring of 1702, the first batch of Tula workers and the eldest son of the businessman Akinfiy come to the Urals. In late August, Nikita himself arrived. In January, the 1703 of the Nevyansk Plant shipped the first batch of its products. During the winter 50 large-caliber guns and a lot of iron were produced.

However, new difficulties had to be overcome. In the summer, the water broke through the dam, and the work got up. By the autumn the dam was repaired, but it burst a second time. In addition, Demidov had a conflict with the Verkhotursk voevoda, who took masters from him for the construction of the Alapaevsky plant and took away a lot of iron. Offended Demidov, taking the family and part of the artisans, went to Moscow. Here he demanded more independence and privileges or to take his factory to the treasury. By decree from 4 on April 1704, Demidov received new benefits and privileges.

In February, Akinfiy went to the Urals with a party of artisans to build a dam and new molotovs. He became the actual head of the Nevyansk plant. Although Demidov with his family - his wife, two other sons (Gregory and Nikita), grandchildren, also moved to the Urals. Plant repaired and expanded. Put another blast furnace. Began to increase production. In 1705-1709 Demidov annually supplied 20-25 thousand tons of iron, shells and guns.

Peter initially looked at Demidov as a tenant and he was everywhere referred to as a "persuader." The entrepreneur even received a royal salary - 1 thousand rubles. By Decree 1709, Mr. Demidov was granted the rank of “commissioner”, that is, a government plenipotentiary for the supervision of metallurgical plants, which confirmed and expanded the powers of the industrialist. It went uphill gradually, there were too many difficulties. Time was needed for the exploration of deposits of ores, the accumulation of capital for the expansion of production, and so on. Moreover, the treasury did not always pay for the goods delivered on time. Therefore, during the first decade, the Demidovs could not build new plants in the Urals. And only in the second decade, when the Nevyansk plant became the largest metallurgical enterprise, the Demidovs built new plants. At first, two hammer hammers were built - the Shurale plant and the larger Byngovsky. With their start-up, the capacity of the conversion workshops significantly exceeded the capabilities of the iron production. As a result, the Verkhnetagilsky plant was built and the construction of Nizhny Tagil was started (it was launched after the death of Nikita Demidov). Also built a molotovy Nizhnelaysky plant and the copper smelting Vyisky plant. It was the first copper smelter in the Urals.

Iron from the Demidov plants was supplied not only for the army, but also for the household and household needs of the population. Having provided the domestic market with a sufficient amount of Russia, Russia began exporting iron from 1716 onwards. Since 1718, Demidov has become the sole supplier of iron, anchors and guns for the Russian fleet, as a result of which he gained an influential patron in the person of the head of the Admiralty Fedor Apraksin. Another patron of Demidov was Menshikov.

The quality of Demidov’s products was so high that the sovereign ordered only Demidov’s iron to be taken for the needs of the fleet, and “the Admiralty was not allowed to accept iron from other factories ...”. During the construction of the new capital, Nikita Demidov put 81 300 pounds of iron and iron fountain pipes for the Summer Garden and Peterhof.

Peter himself treated Demidov with great respect. “Well,” said Count Apraksin to Peter, “if you had two dozen people like Demidov. “I would have been happy,” answered Peter, “if I had had several such great people.” Russian sovereign so appreciated the merits of Nikita Demidov, that he wanted to put a copper monument in Petersburg in memory of his posterity. However, he did not have time, he died. The king managed to build Demidov hereditary nobles.

In this case, do not idealize Demidov. They were a strong and difficult person. He knew a lot and knew how, he was businesslike and stern. In his personal life, he was distinguished by simplicity, practically asceticism. He lived in a simple hut, did not take drunk in the mouth, could not bear drunk. He himself was a blacksmith of the highest category. The strict owner, who meticulously delved into all the details of the factory affairs, worked tirelessly and demanded the same from the others. Notable for phenomenal memory. He tried to strengthen his influence among the high dignitaries of the state, trying to maintain his monopoly. In need of working hands, Demidov, contrary to the strict prohibitions of the Berg-Collegium, lured to his masters from state-owned factories, invited Swedish prisoners who knew the iron-casting business, sheltered the fugitives.

Nikita Demidov died on November 28 1725 of the year in Tula.
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  1. Shiva83483
    Shiva83483 April 5 2016 07: 03
    There were people in the early days .. we certainly wouldn’t be prevented ...
  2. semirek
    semirek April 5 2016 07: 49
    The article evokes a double feeling: it seems to be good, the "businessman" of Peter's times developed the production of weapons, which contributed a lot to the victories of the Peter's army over the Swedes, moreover, he began to develop Ural production at his own peril and risk, which undoubtedly brought advantages to his country, on the other hand in fact, he became an oligarch, which in our country is considered practically a crime --- what to do? And if Demidov was content with his factory in Tula, and did not expand? Could the state structures achieve the indicators that Demidov and his sons subsequently achieved?
    1. baudolino
      baudolino April 5 2016 08: 48
      Demidov did not climb into power; he did not promote and sponsor his proteges.
      Big capitalist and oligarch are two different things.
      1. semirek
        semirek April 5 2016 19: 06
        I think, dear, you confuse concepts a little, it turns out that now we do not have oligarchs in the country, only capitalists who do not aspire to power, really were willing, but where are they now? Demidov did not go into power, because Tsar Peter did not it’s so easy to climb in, although Demidov had a state duty - an inspector for supervision of metallurgical plants - this is not a small position, but Demidov’s son, Akinfiy, was really in power - it was he who sponsored the coup d'etat, the result of which was the reign of Catherine II --if my memory serves me.
  3. bionik
    bionik April 5 2016 07: 53
    I watched the film "The Demidovs".
    1. Mikado
      Mikado April 5 2016 22: 29
      The movie is wonderful. The best role of Spiridonov
  4. parusnik
    parusnik April 5 2016 07: 58
    About the famous Nevyansk tower it was said like this: Squinted, from the atrocities of the Demidovs .. And by and large the family of the Demidovs is glorious, they did a lot of useful and necessary for the country ..
  5. WU 37
    WU 37 April 5 2016 08: 42
    I recommend everyone to read the book "Stone Belt" by Evgeny Alexandrovich Fedorov. In three volumes.
  6. Spartanez300
    Spartanez300 April 5 2016 09: 43
    One of the progenitors of Russian entrepreneurship, exalted by Peter the first for the joy and glorification of Russia, who walked hand in hand with him all his life and died with Peter in the same year.
  7. DimerVladimer
    DimerVladimer April 5 2016 10: 10
    Sweetly in the article - directly anointed with church oil.

    Not everything was so "beautiful".
    Yes, he supplied iron, weapons. Yes picked up a rented factory.
    But - he intrigued to become a monopolist.
    He exceeded his rights - for example, peasants were ordered to work for Demidov 30 days a year, and he forced him to work 60-90 days. They flogged for any wrongdoing, often to death. The worst thing was to get to work in the mine - they did not live there for more than 3 months, constantly in cold water, with poor nutrition and without ventilation - hundreds of people took measures.
    He minted a fake coin and drowned the artisans in the Nevyansk tower in order to hide his crimes - the Demidovs in the Urals are far from a positive character!

    With one hand he did state affairs, with the other he poured his pockets at the expense of brutal exploitation and thousands of ruined souls behind him! Because there was no control at all - I wanted to execute; I wanted to have mercy (basically I executed by hard labor in mines).
    What can I say - he was not without money, had a smartly furnished mansion in Moscow and in Nevyansk - Demidov did not forget to enrich himself.
    1. Cap.Morgan
      Cap.Morgan April 5 2016 19: 06
      About fake money - the story is muddy.
      And whether they were fake.
      Times were not easy.
      There was a war. Fortresses and cities were built. Manufactories were opened, shipyards were built, ores were developed ...
      So shift the emphasis, from "the cruel exploitation of ... ruined souls" to "the heroic labor of the Russian people in the era of the formation of Russian statehood"
  8. bober1982
    bober1982 April 5 2016 10: 34
    It couldn’t be beautiful, it was such terrible times. Demidov didn’t just supply iron, he essentially created metallurgy. He did state affairs and stuffed his pocket, which is strange, it’s worse when they don’t do things.
    1. DimerVladimer
      DimerVladimer April 5 2016 11: 02
      Sorry - there is a difference how to achieve the result.

      The phenomenon of Demidov has been well researched by historians, and this article presents a part of history, its "white" side, and the "black" criminal - is not mentioned - ignorant people will have the impression of a benevolent Demidov - a guardian of Russia. He took care of his pocket, got out of hundreds of artisans and all his life made a fortune, mercilessly exploited and rotted ordinary workers in the mines.

      So Stalin is presented as an "effective manager", if not to mention the repressive side of the system he built (executions and mass arrests, knocking out army commanders) - everything really looks great.
      1. V.ic
        V.ic April 5 2016 11: 15
        Quote: DimerVladimer
        So Stalin is presented as an "effective manager", if not to mention the repressive side of the system he built

        In the conditions of a lack of time, a hostile environment from the outside and former "whites" and other colored oppositionists conquered during the civil war (even in the ranks of the communist party!) He had no other way but to whip the opposition minority on the right path. There weren't enough gingerbreads for everyone. From the moment of Trotsky's expulsion to the moment of Stalin's death, a comparable time has passed with the current domination of crap in the Russian Federation. During this time, they could barely return Crimea. Moreover, to increase the number of "domestic" billionaires.
        1. DimerVladimer
          DimerVladimer April 5 2016 11: 34
          Those. do you justify the death of Tukhachevsky? Repression com roster in 1937?
          You quickly forget the lessons of history - a people who do not remember their history do not have a future ...

          Let me remind you about the repression:
          They reached a special scale in 1937-1938, when 1,58 million people were arrested by the NKVD and sentenced to death. 682 thousand people

          In the army:
          A significant part of the arrests of senior military leaders was carried out on the direct instructions of Stalin. So, having familiarized himself in August 1937 with the protocol of interrogation of the deputy chief of the RKKA intelligence department, Aleksandrovsky, Stalin sent it to Yezhov, making notes "take", "arrest" against 30 names named by the defendant ...

          The People’s Commissariat of Defense kept a careful record of repressed commanders. As reported in the memorandum of the head of the NGO department for the command staff of Shchadenko sent to Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov and Andreev, from March 1, 1937 to March 1, 1938, 21,3 thousand people were dismissed from the Red Army, including for political reasons 17,4 , 5329 thousand people, of which 1 people. was arrested. The repressions concerned primarily the top command staff, but the lower and middle command links also turned out to be seriously weakened. Only from January 1 to November 1937, 14,5, more than XNUMX thousand captains and lieutenants were dismissed from the Red Army ...

          odu /

          This is not like "caring for the army" - it is like paranoia!

          If you do not understand anything in the question - you would not write frank nonsense!
          1. Ingvar 72
            Ingvar 72 April 5 2016 17: 08
            Quote: DimerVladimer
            Those. do you justify the death of Tukhachevsky?

            You need to read "Antiarchipelago, or there will be no rehabilitation" by Stoleshnikov. It examines the personalities and merits of the "innocent" repressed. Most (!) Got what they deserved. hi
      2. bober1982
        bober1982 April 5 2016 11: 29
        I agree with you, both Demidov and the aforementioned Stalin are typical murderers (like many historical characters) Although, in my opinion, it sometimes happens that the truth is sometimes unnecessary, it only hurts. It is only difficult to determine when to tell the truth and when to hush up.
      3. Manul
        Manul April 5 2016 22: 21
        Quote: DimerVladimer
        ignorant people will have the impression of the gracious Demidov, the guardian of Russia. He cradled his pocket, knocked out of hundreds of artisans and all his life profited, mercilessly exploited and rotted in the mines of simple hard workers

        His children have already begun to mess around. With him, all the same, the result was important, and the prudent owner would not flog to death the workers. But his seeds as a parent have completely gone. They didn’t work in the smithy since childhood, they served everything on a silver platter. Therefore, steel with the stigma of sable lost their fame and demand abroad with them, incomes fell further.
        The "Stone Belt" contains 80% of the information. Good book.
  9. V.ic
    V.ic April 5 2016 11: 19
    I would like to ask the fans of Fomenko-Nosovsky a question: how did the "Great Tartary" allow the development of the industrial base of the Russian Empire in the Urals?
    1. The comment was deleted.
      1. Ingvar 72
        Ingvar 72 April 5 2016 17: 28
        Quote: DimerVladimer
        priests, engineers, workers, peasants, intellectuals - ordinary people.
        My grandfather's brother was shot in 37, and is listed in the "Book of Memory" as a rural teacher. But I am aware of the details about which the "Book of Memory" is not written. During the revolution, he was far from being a soft and fluffy teacher of the Russian language, but actively advocated revolutionary changes, but in an INDEPENDENT Belarus. They shot him on charges of participation in the "Polish Voiskovaya Organization".
        Naturally, they were innocently shot, but they cut down the forest - chips fly. Excuse me for cynicism. hi
      2. Mikhail m
        Mikhail m April 5 2016 19: 29
        Do not read scary fairy tales with an unlucky ending at night.
      3. DmitryK
        DmitryK April 5 2016 22: 16
        Write where you live, approximate coordinates of this terrible mine !!!!
    2. Mangel olys
      Mangel olys April 5 2016 12: 26
      Quote: V.ic
      I would like to ask the fans of Fomenko-Nosovsky a question: how did the "Great Tartary" allow the development of the industrial base of the Russian Empire in the Urals?

      I am not an admirer of Fomenko-Nosovsky, but I would still advise you, Victor, to read the book of Professor NN Firsov "Readings on the history of Siberia", published in 1915. Imperial Archaeological Institute named after Nicholas II. Well, and then you can fill the gap with the book of Hadi Atlasi "History of Siberia". Good luck.
  10. Manul
    Manul April 6 2016 08: 33
    Yes, at least write an article about someone. If this increases the self-esteem of the Russian people and respect for the past, some comments will immediately appear - "bad uncles, and Stalin was worse." If only they worked for money, for 500 dollars or 30 pieces of silver. For it is not clear what. There are no own ideas, there is no understanding or reverence, only that which has blown by the wind.
    1. Creotip
      Creotip April 8 2016 20: 25
      That's it to the point!