Stalingrad tractor Factory was the first attempt to achieve modernization

2022-05-24 0 By

Large shantytowns have been submerged.Workers have spent the long winter in tents, bomb shelters and other makeshift shelters, with cots and stoves everywhere.Planners expected community life to become more popular, with residents converting traditional apartments into communal units, but eventually the shift went the other way as workers sought more personal, personalized Spaces.In addition, cost-cutting meant fewer newly designed utilities after the first buildings were completed, and eventually the city’s master plan was abandoned.However, even though it suffered a cut, in the form of the new city of workers still represents a kind of special attention, namely through the workplace to provide a wide range of social, cultural, entertainment and welfare for the broader efforts, the Soviet union around the factory responsible for workers and their families to provide housing, food and education, to improve their cultural level.The Soviet state welfare system centered on giant factories.Despite the obstacles, the large automotive complex in Nizhny Novgorod, soon to be renamed Gorky, was largely completed in November 1931, 18 months after the first American engineers arrived in the Soviet Union (though the construction of an accompanying city lagged behind).Experts from the United States and the application of American methods were partly responsible for the success.But much of the credit goes to Soviet government and party officials who, despite their inexperience and bureaucracy, proved able to mobilize Soviet workers to work hard.They can do so because they can take advantage of the deep commitment of some workers, especially younger workers, to explosive development — industrialization as a form of revolution.Soviet workers carried out what they considered world-historic projects and defended the revolution.They made extraordinary sacrifices to do so: living in deplorable conditions, volunteering to work unpaid Saturdays, joining “commandos,” accepting dangerous workplace conditions and enduring bureaucratic practices by officials responsible for major five-year plan projects.For a short time at least, many Soviet workers saw the factories they were building as their property, their means to a brighter future, a very different kind of society from the past, and were willing to do whatever was necessary to accomplish them.Stalingrad tractor plant and Gorky automobile Plant were the most famous Soviet projects and were widely reported in the Western media.In the United States, the New York Times, Detroit Times, Detroit Free Press, Time, trade journals and other publications regularly publish stories about these plants.But there were many other big Soviet projects that involved Americans.Dupont helped build a fertilizer plant in the Soviet Union, the Sebelin Rubber Company helped build a large tire plant in Moscow, c.F.Seabrook built roads in Moscow, and other firms that advised the coal industry could come up with a long list.Albert Kahn took on an even greater role when he designed the Stalingrad tractor factory.In early 1930, his company signed a two-year contract with the Antog Trading Company, making his company a consultant for all industrial buildings in the Soviet Union.Under the agreement, 25 Soviet engineers traveled to the company’s Detroit office to work with employees there.But more importantly, it did design and construction work in the Soviet Union, a new centralized state, and set up a Kahn firm in Moscow.Moritz, Albert’s brother, led a team of 25 American architects and engineers to a new office in Russia.They were not only designers and architects, but also experts who trained Soviet architects and engineers and taught Kahn’s production methods.The Soviet contract was a boon for Kahn, enabling his company to survive the depths of the Great Depression when there was virtually no business in the United States.But this was not merely expedient; the Soviet-Kahn partnership grew organically out of a shared vision of progress through material construction and rational means.Moritz was delighted by the opportunity to apply the “standardised mass production” system of the car industry to the construction industry, an industry where producing bespoke products can be notoriously disruptive.In the Soviet Union, this was possible because there was only one central design agency and one client (the Soviet government) that could develop designs for specific types of factories that could be reused by similar factories.Mr Moritz notes that government ownership would eliminate costs associated with advertising, promotion and middlemen, and allow the rationalisation of transport and warehousing, all in keeping with his appreciation of technocrats.Albert was more arrogant, telling the Detroit Times: “I treated the Soviet Union like a doctor treats his patients.”Setting up the joint design center in Moscow was challenging, but ultimately successful.There were few qualified Soviet architects, engineers and draftsmen, and basic supplies, from pencils to drawing boards, were scarce, with only one machine for drawing blueprints in the whole of Moscow.In two years, however, Cahn’s team oversaw the design and construction of more than 500 plants in the Soviet Union, using the Ford method that the company had perfected in Detroit.Equally important, some 4,000 Soviet architects, engineers and draftsmen were trained by kahn’s experts, including evening classes.They learned kahn’s design and construction methods, worked with Ford and other American manufacturing companies, and spread them all over Russia.According to Sonja Melnikova-Reich, who studies Soviet cooperation, Kahn’s method “has been standard in the Soviet construction industry for decades.”Kahn did more design work for the Soviet Union from his Detroit office, including two new tractor factories to meet its insatiable demand for mechanized agricultural equipment.A factory on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, was actually a copy of stalingrad, designed to produce the same tractors, and the wider use of reinforced concrete would change as the Soviet Union reduced its imports of expensive steel from the United States.After finishing his job as second in command at the Stalingrad factory, Leo Swarjian became commander-in-chief of the industrial construction (he received the Order of Lenin for his services).The other factory, by far, is still the largest.It is located in Chelyabinsk, about 1,100 miles due east of Moscow, east of the Ural Mountains and near the border of Europe and Asia.It was built to produce tractors with metal tracks rather than rubber wheels.The complex looks like a Detroit factory planted in the Russian wilderness, with 1.78 million square feet of floor space spread over 2,471 acres (twice the size of rouge River).Although the Soviets began building the plant without American consultants on hand, American engineers, including Calder and Swagjian, were called in to help when work stalled.If building huge Soviet factories was already a big challenge, getting them to turn out real products was even harder.The opening of the factory became a pivotal moment because it was believed that the Soviet Union could modernize by adopting the most advanced methods of capitalism on a large scale and establishing a socialist society without the long process of industrialization experienced by the United States and western European powers.The Stalingrad tractor Factory was the first point of attempt.Stalin’s congratulatory message in June 1930 on tractor factory workers turning out 50, 000 tractors a year proved premature.In the first month and a half, the factory produced only five tractors.In the first six months, just over 1,000 were produced.For the whole of 1931, it was 18,410.Not all the equipment had been delivered and installed when the plant started.That was a problem, but the bigger problem was that the vast majority of Soviet workers and production supervisors were completely unfamiliar with and inexperienced with basic industrial processes, let alone capable of advanced mass production.Conclusion When Margaret Burke-White visited the plant during its first summer of operation, she reported, “The Russians know no more about how to use a conveyor belt than a bunch of schoolchildren.”In factories, “the assembly line is usually completely stationary.On the way to the factory, a finished tractor broke down.One Russian was twisting a little bolt, while twenty other Russians stood around him watching, smoking and arguing.