A brief history of the St. Petersburg Paper Mill of Goznak
The history of the Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill of Goznak began in 1818, when by a decree of Emperor Alexander I, a unique company—the Expedition of State Paper Provision—was founded. The new company manufactured bank note paper, as well as “all other types with the national emblem.” It was governed by the Ministry of Finance.
The construction of the Expedition was supervised by the famous engineer and architect, Hispanic-born Augustin de Betancourt (1758–1824). The original facilities included a paper mill, printing house, mechanical shop, engraving shop, numbering shop, and molding shop, as well as the office, apartments for clerks, and quarters for workers. The first workers were brought from Tsarskoe Selo: masters and craftsmen, invalids, and freshman soldiers, who were assigned to work at the Expedition.
Back then, the process of making paper was time-consuming and labor-intensive. Manual manufacture, with hemp as the main raw material, prevailed. Hemp was beaten, soaked in water, boiled, shaped on special grids, and pressed into sheets. For watermarks, special grids with engraved stamps were sewn onto dip molds. Such paper was used for bank notes, stamped paper, credit bills, postal stamps, bonds, stocks, and other watermarked paper. The Expedition was the only company in Russia where paper was not only manufactured but also used in its own printing house.
Many famous scholars and scientists played a significant role in the development of the mill. Not only did Augustin de Betancourt design the main manufacturing facilities and supervise equipment supplies; he also designed new monetary units. In 1890, Ivan Orlov, who became a member of the Expedition in 1886, invented a machine that used a special method for printing and protecting bank note paper, the so-called Orlov printing method. The machine could reproduce in print any multicolored design and transfer it from a template to paper. Boris Jacobi, the famous inventor of galvanoplastics, as well as many others, also contributed to the development of the manufacturing facilities of the mill.
At the end of the 19th–beginning of the 20th century, the mill underwent significant changes. Over a short period, many shops were extended and reequipped, a new water-supply facility was built, and a new artistic engraving manufacture was launched. A creative collaboration with the famous Russian artist Ivan Bilibin gave birth to a project of manufacturing books for the common people. Manual manufacture of paper, the watermarks of which reproduced some paintings by Vasnetsov and Aivazovsky were true works of art. These and other artistic products the mill sold on its premises and in a store on 19 Nevsky Prospekt.
Around that time, the mill built its own theater (today the Nogin Cultural Center) and a library. The primary school for the children of workers and clerks was converted to a nine-year school and featured three technical classes.
In 1918, when the German troops captured parts of the Soviet Republic, some factories were evacuated further away from the occupied territories. Most of the equipment of the Expedition of State Paper Provision was transferred to Penza. Later, the military situation in this area forced it to be partially evacuated to Moscow and Perm. In June 1919, the remaining “non-paper” shops of the Expedition—the printing and artistic molding—were transferred from Petrograd to Moscow.
On July 6, 1919, the People’s Commissariat of Finance of the RSFSR issued a decree on Governing Factories of State Paper Provision (Goznak ).
Currently, the Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill of Goznak is one of the eight companies of the Goznak Association—the largest organization created for manufacturing money and protecting governmental papers from counterfeiting.
Recently, the mill underwent equipment modernization; new slitting machines, reel cutters, and packaging lines were launched. A unique system for boiling and bleaching cotton raw materials was installed. These measures allowed for increasing the reliability of the equipment and stabilizing technological and quality indices of products. The new equipment has the most up-to-date systems for controlling technological processes.
The 20th century witnessed a significant increase in demand for special paper. The Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill of Goznak has been actively operating not only on the domestic, but also on the international market of manufacturers of security papers. The company participates and frequently wins in bidding for supplying bank note paper.
Among the international clients of the Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill of Goznak are companies from Indonesia, Cambodia, the Baltic, and the CIS countries.
The high quality of our products has been recognized by the conferral of prizes and quality certificates at Russian and international exhibitions:
1959—Exhibition in Leipzig, Gold Medal for Palekh album and Silve Medal for Human Anatomical Atlas printed on coated paper manufactured on the mill.
1961—VDNKh, certificate for development of D-type transparent drafting paper.
1972—Honorary Anniversary Sign commemorating the 50th anniversary of the forming of the USSR.
1977—Honorary pennant from the Ministry of Finance of the USSR.
1988—Challenge Red Banner of the Ministry of Finance of the USSR, challenge Red Banner of the Lenin District.
1999—“Sign of Acknowledgment,” the mill nominated top 100 companies of St. Petersburg and top 1,000 companies in Russia.
2000—the mill was successfully certified for compliance with the requirements of the GOST R ISO 9001-96 national standard by FGU Test-St. Petersburg, the organization for certifying systems of quality.
2001—the environment management system of the mill was certified for compliance with the requirements of the GOST ISO 14001-98 national standard; the mill was also licensed to use the ecology standard compliance logo.
2001—certificate of the Laureate of the Best Russian Companies all-Russia competition. Certificate and the second place in the competition for the St. Petersburg Quality Award.
2002—Certificate and the second place in the competition for the St. Petersburg Quality Award.
2003—for achieving positive results in ensuring quality and viability of its products and use of advanced quality control methods, the mill was awarded the certificate of the Laureate of the St. Petersburg Quality Award. The mill took part and was awarded the certificate and became laureate of the Made in St. Petersburg competition among products and services.
In September 2004, the company’s environment management system passed re-certification, which is proven by the national and international compliance certificate (IQNet).