Vladimir Ilyich Lenin


Chapter VII. The Development of Large-Scale Machine Industry

VI. Steam-Engine Statistics

The employment of steam-engines in production is one of the most characteristic features of large-scale machine industry. It will be interesting therefore to examine the data available on this subject. For the years 1875-1878 the number of steam-engines is supplied by Material for the Statistics of Steam-Engines in the Russian Empire (St. Petersburg, 1882. Published by the Central Statistical Committee).[1] For 1892 we have the figures of Collection of Data on Factory Industry, which cover all factory and mining trades.

Here are these data compared:

Number of steam engines in industry.

In 16 years the total h.p. capacity of steam-engines in Russia increased threefold and in European Russia 2 1/2 times. The number of steam-engines increased to a lesser degree, so that the average capacity per steam-engine rose considerably: in European Russia from 18 h.p. to 24 h.p., and in the Kingdom of Poland from 18 h.p. to 41 h.p. Large scale machine industry, consequently, developed very rapidly during this period. As regards steam-power capacity, the following gubernias, in 1875-1878, were in the lead: St. Petersburg (17,808 h.p.), Moscow (13,668), Kiev (8,363), Perm (7,348) and Vladimir (5,684)—the total for these five gubernias being 52,871 h.p. or about 3/5 of the total for European Russia. Then follow the Podolsk (5,480), Petrokov (5,071) and Warsaw (4,760) gubernias. In 1892 the order changed: Petrokov (59,063), St. Petersburg (43,961), Ekaterinoslav (27,839), Moscow (24,704), Vladimir (15,857) and Kiev (14,211)—the total for the last five gubernias being 126,572 h.p., or nearly 1/2 the total for European Russia. Then follow the gubernias of Warsaw (11,310) and Perm (11,245). These figures clearly indicate the formation of two new industrial centres: in Poland and in the South. In Petrokov Gubernia, the total capacity increased 11.6-fold, and in the Ekaterinoslav and Don gubernias taken together,[2] from 2,834 to 30,932 h.p. or 10.9-fold. These industrial centres, which have grown so rapidly, have moved up from the bottom to the top places and have supplanted the old industrial centres. Let us observe that these data, too, reveal the particularly rapid growth of the industries producing articles of productive consumption, namely, the mining and metallurgical industries. In 1875-78 these industries employed 1,040 steam-engines with a total of 22,966 h.p. (in European Russia) and in 1890 1,960 steam engines with a total of 74,204 h.p., i.e., an increase in 14 years that exceeds the increase in the total number of steam-engines in industry as a whole in 16 years. The industries producing means of production constitute an ever-growing part of industry as a whole.[3]


[1] Of the 13 groups of trades we omit, for purposes of comparison with 1892, the following groups: I (agriculture), XII (printing and lithography) and XIII (“plumbing,” etc.). Locomobiles are counted with steam-engines.—Lenin

[2] We combine these gubernias because their boundaries have changed since 1878.—Lenin

[3] The progress made in the employment of steam-engines in Russia since 1892 may be seen from the fact that in 1904, according to the factory inspectors’ reports, there were in 64 gubernias 27,579 factory steam-boilers; the total, not including those employed in agriculture, was 31,887. (Note to 2nd edition.—Ed.)—Lenin

  V. Is the Number of Workers in Large Capitalist Enterprises Growing? | VII. The Growth of Large Factories  

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