The history of the Moscow Printing Factory started with the evacuation of the Expedition of Storing State Papers from Petrograd in 1918.
On February 26, 1918 at the meeting of Council of People's Commissars the evacuation of the Government from Petrograd to Moscow was discussed due to the advance of the German Army in February. At the meeting Lenin wrote a project of the decree on the Government evacuation, in which he stated: “…At all costs and immediately to move the State Bank, gold and the Expedition of Storing State Papers…” The final decision about moving the capital to Moscow was taken in March 1918.
On March 2, 1918 the Government’s Decree “About organizing a special board for fastest and more successful evacuation of the Expedition” was signed.
The printing and plate (stereotype workshop) equipment evacuated to Moscow was placed on the premises of Vtorov’s former plant. According to the Government’s decree, the remaining printing and plate and artistic departments of the Expedition with all the workshops – type-casting, engraving, stereotype, electrotype and photomechanical – were evacuated urgently from Petrograd to Moscow. They were united into the Plate Department and placed in the premises of Vtorov’s plant too, together with the previously evacuated printing equipment. That was how the First Printing Factory in Moscow was founded. The papermaking production remained in Petrograd. The Expeditions also operated in Penza, Perm, Rostov-on-Don. As a result, the paper and printing productions were actually divided.
The Museum of the Papermaking Department of the Expedition of Storing State Papers was moved from Petrograd to Moscow. The movement of the Museum funds was started.
On July 6, 1919 the People’s Commissariat of Finance of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic approved the Regulation of foundation of Administration of Factories of Storing State Notes developed by a member of the Evacuation Committee T.T. Enukidze. Thus, Goznak uniting the existing then Moscow, Petrograd and Penza Factories of storing state papers was founded.
In June 1920 the Administration of Factories of Storing State Notes received a part of the buildings of Brocard’s former perfumery factory. The Plate and Artistic Department was moved here from the territory of Vtorov’s former plant.
On March 31, 1921 the Council of People's Commissars took the decision to give all the buildings of Brocard’s factory to Goznak. Here Goznak was able to locate all the equipment received from Penza. That was how the Second Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak appeared. All the production of printing plates and originals and stamps was centralized here.
Thus, during the period since 1919 and approximately till the end of the 1920s there were two enterprises: the First Moscow Factory of Storing State Notes and the Second Moscow Factory of Storing State Papers (the former Plate and Artistic Department).
According to the existing documents, the period since January 1919 till the middle of 1919 may be considered the beginning of activity, and therefore the foundation of the Moscow Printing Factory.
From the very beginning of its foundation, the Moscow Printing Factory joined the working process actively. Already in 1921 Goznak issued 3 813 million banknotes. On August 10, 1921 the first stamps of the Soviet Government were issued. The stamps of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic of the “Symbols of Labour” series were produced with the face values of 5, 500 and 1000 roubles. The new name of the state appeared on them for the first time and for the first time in the world history of stamps, they depicted ordinary people – a worker, a peasant, a soldier of the Red Army.
The People’s Commissariat of Post and Telegraph Offices of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic announced a competition for the best design of the postage stamp dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the October revolution and foundation of the USSR. The competition winner was Ivan Dubasov, a young graduate of Stroganov’s school. He gained the upper hand over many famous artists and received the award of 1 billion roubles.
The stamp with the image of a worker sculpting “The Russian Soviet Socialist Republic – 1917 – 1922” was distributed in the number of many thousand pieces around the country, and its author was invited to work at Goznak. On August 1922 the glorious working path of Ivan Ivanovich Dubasov at the Second Moscow Factory of Storing State Notes (later the Moscow Printing Factory) was started; he later became the Chief Artist of Goznak and the author of all the Russian symbols.
The Government of the young republic entrusted Goznak with the task of creating brand new Soviet money. It was decided to reflect the images of ordinary Soviet people – a worker, a peasant, a soldier of the Red Army – on the new banknotes. Goznak ordered the portraits from an outstanding sculptor Ivan Dmitrievich Shadr… A workshop for the sculptor was built in Mytnaya Street in Moscow, next to the Printing Factory of Goznak. Shadr offered to customers to create a series of large-size models made in the style of a round sculpture as the most dynamic and realistic image solution.
Form the round sculptures created by Shadr the artists of the Moscow Printing Factory made excellent engraved portraits that soon appeared on banknotes, security papers, bonds, postage stamps.
On June 20, 1923 the General Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic issued a decree “About the identification document” that formed the break of the pre-revolution passport system judicially. All the previous documents granting the right to travel were cancelled, and new identification documents were introduced since January 1, 1924.
Goznak started to perform the task of preparing and producing new documents. At the end of 1923 the First and the Second Printing Factories were united into one production site – the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak within the territory of Brocard’s former perfumery factory in Mytnaya Street.
The craftsmen of the Moscow Printing Factory carried out most complicated orders, including those not connected with the banknote production directly.
Playing cards produced by the craftsmen of the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak received Gran-Prix of the Paris World Exhibition in 1937. The products presented by Goznak at the Exhibition were awarded with two diplomas of honor, one silver and one gold medals “For heliogravure, lithographic, multicolor printing and book printing” and became the major sensation of the season.
In 1939 Head Artist of the Moscow Printing Factory Dubasov created a sketch of one of the most modest in appearance but highest in value awards – the “Golden Star” medal – a sign of special distinction given to the Heroes of the Soviet Union.
By the beginning of 1941 the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak was the only factory in the USSR producing the state currency notes, security papers, documents of strict accounting. Besides, the Factory produced highly artistic printed products which won medals and diplomas at the international exhibitions more than once.
Among the Factory’s customers were state, political, trade-union and public organizations: Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR, the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, the Central Committee of the All-Russian Communist Party, People’s Commissariat of Finance of the USSR, the All-Union Central Council of Trade-Unions and a number of other People’s Commissariats.
In 1941, on the first days of the war preparation to evacuating the main equipment and a large group of qualified workers and specialists of the Moscow Printing Factory to Krasnokamsk was started. Another, smaller part of the equipment and workers of the Moscow Printing Factory was moved to Tashkent. In September a branch of the Moscow Printing Factory started manufacturing of products and received the name of the Krasnokamsk Printing Factory.
In order to start the production and carry out planned tasks in full volume and on time, the Krasnokamsk Printing Factory needed about 2 thousand workers. Only 646 workers and specialists arrived from Moscow. They were the core of the team that grew with time. The team grew due to the inhabitants of nearby villages, girls and teenagers evacuated to the Urals from the western parts of the country. The Moscovites worked 11 – 12 hours a day, including weekends, training the newcomers simultaneously.
The Government made a decision to issue the State Military Loan of 1942 on April 12. Ivan Dubasov made a drawing of a soldier of the Red Army attacking with a flag in one hand and a rifle in the other, calling other warriors after him. The drawing was the core of the original of the certificates of the first State Military Loan created by the artist. Sketches of certificates of the second State Military Loan decreed by the Government on June 4, 1943 were created in the same way.
The Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak resumed its work in 1942. The majority of the 90 machines remaining after the evacuation represented general printing equipment. 160 employees of the team of Goznak remained at the Factory. It was necessary to resume the production of products under the order of the People’s Commissariat of Communication – postal cards and stamps, under the order of the State Labour Saving Banks – certificates of the Loan of 1942, the Central Committee of the All-Russian Communist Party – political documents, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR – documents for orders.
Right after the end of the war the Moscow Printing Factory, just like all the enterprises of Goznak, took an active part in the preparation to the Currency Reform of 1947.
The production of the new banknotes required a serious rearrangement of production and personnel training at the printing enterprises of Goznak.
New intaglio machines were required. At that time Goznak possessed one machine of the required level produced in the United States.
It was impossible to receive approval for purchasing new machines then. Goznak had no technical documentation for the existing intaglio machine. An unusual decision was taken. The machine was delivered to a plant in Rybinsk. There the local craftsmen took it to pieces and made a copy of each part. It showed quite good characteristics, and soon Goznak’s production was equipped with new intaglio machines produced in Rybinsk.
At the beginning of 1948 a reconstruction tokk place at the Moscow Printing Factory with the aim to specialize the Factory in three basic kinds of products: banknotes, state documents of strict accounting and postage stamps. The major part of the equipment was renovated mostly owing to the machines produced in the country.
Since then the postage stamps of the USSR as well as for foreign customers have been printed only at the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak.
1955 and 1956 were the years of thorough repairs and reconstruction of 10 workshops, warehouses, the machine-counting station, the heating station. During the same year, a transformer station was built and equipped. It enabled the Factory to fulfill the state order for the preparation and holding of the Currency Reform of 1961 successfully.
In 1961 the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak carried out orders for issuing albums with reproductions of paintings from the State Tretyakov Gallery, posters, showbills, leaflets, catalogues, books and coupons for Intourist, sets of artistic postcards of “IZOGIZ”, organizational calendars for “Gosfinizdat”, the atlas of medicinal herbs for “Medgiz”, air tickets for “Redgiz”.
In 1961 the manufacturing facilities of the Moscow Printing Factory increased considerably. 58 units of various equipment were received: reverse machines, a hydraulic press, copying machines, paper cutting machines, gold blocking machines, “Zetakont” proof printing presses… at the time the Factory possessed its own counting and perforation plant that was also used for the Ministry of Finance, the Mint and carried out statistical summary reports for the clinic of the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak.
In 1964 a new workshop for postage stamp production was opened, and a four-ink machine uniting intaglio and deep fountainless printing as well as a stamp perforation device were installed in it.
De La Rue Giori (Switzerland) started to deliver sets of equipment to the Moscow and Perm Printing Factories: dry intaglio printing machines, machines for number printing (Numerotas), as well as equipment for intaglio plate production. Installation of these machines, and “Orlof Intaglio” rotary intaglio machines, increased labour productivity and decreased many manual labor-intensive processes.
At the beginning of the 1970s albums “Levsha”, “Masterpieces of the Russian Painting Museums”, “The Diamond Fund”, “Masterpieces of the Ancient Pskov”, “Fairy-tale Alphabet” and sets of illustrations to Pushkin’s fairy-tales, Lermontov’s works and Krylov’s fables were published at the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak.
“Drawings of Old Masters” work received the Diploma named after Ivan Fedorov for high artistic and printing execution in 1972.
In 1992 the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak started complete modernization of its printing production. More than 50 units of brand new basic and auxiliary equipment for the printing production were purchased at the beginning of the 1990s.
A new printing building was put into operation. An automated CutPack unit for cutting into pieces, bundling, counting and packing banknotes into film was installed. The labour efficiency of these operations increased by 1.9 times.
In 1995 the banknote production modernization was completed at the Printing Factories of Association “Goznak”. More than 70 large printing assemblies were installed, 4 cleaning liquid preparation and regeneration lines for intaglio printing were mounted etc.
In September 1997 manufacturing of passport forms of the new model necessary for the Passport Reform was started at the Moscow and Perm Printing Factories. The passport of the citizen of the Russian Federation developed by the specialists of Goznak meets all the international requirements to documents of the kind.
Microperforation application machines were installed at the Moscow and Perm Printing Factories. It helped to apply microperforation into the set of security features of the modified Russian banknotes. Goznak was engaged in their development under the order of the Bank of Russia in 2003.
In 2005 a unique device enabling the effect of Orlov’s printing combining smooth and sharp colour transitions was installed and tested on the serial “SuperSimultan” machine at the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak. The improved method of Orlov’s printing “2D-Iris” was created by the specialists of the Security Technology Division of Goznak together with those of the Moscow Printing Factory. Basing upon the formed patent Goznak addressed KBA Giori with a proposal to carry out the plant reconstruction of “SuperSimultan” machines.
A structural subdivision was organized on the basis of the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak – the Passport Personalization Center for the production and personalization of passport forms of the new generation containing the holder’s biometrical parameters.
At the end of 2005 the first lot of travel passports of the new model with a plastic page and a microchip embedded into it was produced.
In 2007 Goznak tuned up the industrial-scale production of forms of travel passports of the new model (with a microchip embedded into the plastic page). The Center of personalization of the passport and visa documents of the new generation was enlarged simultaneously.
Today the Moscow Printing Factory is a modern excellently equipped enterprise producing a broad spectrum of security printed products.