real story of real people

kalinin factory virtual museum

history of the kalinin electrotechnical factory in tallinn
kalinin factory virtual museum
on Telliskivi street in Tallinn

Do you want to hear a true story about the former Kalinin faсtory in Tallinn? Do you want to know what was really on this place of Telliskivi street in Tallinn, where the Creative City is situated now? Welcome to the lost world of Soviet industry and scienсe!
No mystic, no speculations, no gueses, facts only.
one of the oldest enterprises in Estonia

It was not any secret Soviet military factory. Only some projects were for space and defense.
During Soviet times it was run by the Ministry of Electrical Engineering Industry of USSR. It produced
power semiconductor devices
semiconductor converters
consumer goods
Year of foundation
kalinin factory: facts&numbers
In 1990: staff - 3700 engineers - 1100 scientists with degrees - 50
overall territory - 14,4 ha useful area - 45,000 sq.m.
production capacity - 79 million roubles deliveries to 17 countries




Kalinin factory included the scientific research institute, the plant of semiconductor devises (thiristors and diodes), the plant of semiconductor converters situated in Tallinn Lasnamäe District and the Puurmani plant of consumer goods in Jõgeva County.
healthcare sport culture
This factory was not so grim and separated as you may read now on Internet. It was full of life! The factory had its own
health centre
rest centre for employees
leisure centre

Number of employees

kalinin factory: creative&active
It had its own: orchestra band chorus radio station
newspaper football team two libraries
technical creativity club cinema studio

Tallinn and Saint Petersburg were connected by railway in 1870. At the same time, the railway’s main factory was built near the junction. It had 500 workers and its function was to service the railway’s infrastructure and undercarriage. It was one of Tallinn’s biggest industrial company at that time. The most important orders executed at the factory at that time were a train made for the Russian tsar and a special sanitary train for the war between Russia and Japan.

During the years of the First Republic of Estonia, the railway and locomotive repair plants on Estonian territory were nationalized. In 1920–1940, the company was called Tallinn Railway Workshops.

Before World War II, the factory mainly dealt in fixing and building locomotives and wagons.

After the annexation of Estonia by the Soviet Union, the plant was named after the Russian revolutionary and Soviet statesman Mikhail Kalinin, who worked as a turner at the plant in 1902-1903. The plant received the name Tallinn railway plant named after Kalinin in 1940.

The years of the Second World War were difficult for the plant. Some of the equipment and workers were sent to Russia.The plant in Tallinn worked during the German occupation. Leaving Tallinn in 1944, the Germans took away the equipment. But those who left for Russia returned, brought back factory machines, including the one on which Kalinin worked. The plant had to be restored.

The delegation of workers visited Kalinin in 1946, and the plant was named after Kalinin again.

The Kalinin locomotive-wagon factory in Tallinn became a mercury-arc valve factory in 1958.

The plant was headed by Viktor Garnyk, the former deputy of Lazar Kaganovich, who led the Soviet railways under Stalin. This experienced manager quickly made the plant one of the most advanced in the USSR. The plant was visited by the President of Finland Kekkonen and the Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi.

The world chess champion Botvinnik and cosmonaut Bykovsky also visited the factory.

Throughout the decades, semiconductor devices for the first Soviet moon walker and components for power plants, railways, the defence industry and airports were also made in the factory.

Creative people worked at the factory even in those years.The plant had its own club, radio broadcasts about the life of the plant were produced, the factory newspaper was published. The factory choir, brass band, rock band were here. Also, the employees were actively engaged in sports, there were their own volleyball and football teams.

The factory was privatised after the country became independent again and moved away from the centre of the city.

new factory new location

Do not trust! It is not destroyed! Read more here→→→

© 2019-2024 Виртуальный музей завода Калинина
The materials of the site are available under a license Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
All photo and video materials from free resources,, belong to their owners.
Please don’t use this content for commercial purposes.
Made on