A Remarkable Triad: the Science, Art and Education.
Publishing activity of A. Ilyin's Cartographic Establishment
- Maps and Atlases
- Maps on Postcards
- Publications Catalogues
- Books and Illustrative Material
The Cartographic Establishment of A. Ilyin was founded by the General Staff officers Alexey Afinogenovich Ilyin (1832-1889) and Vladimir Poltoratsky (1830-1886) in 1859. The publishing house was first known as the Chromolithography of Poltoratsky, Ilyin and Co., but after V. Poltoratsky's leaving from Petersburg in 1864, it changed its name to A. Ilyin's Cartographic Establishment. Map making and printing became life's work for Alexey Ilyin who served as cartographer for the Military Topographic Depot of the General Staff and was promoted to lieutenant-general by the end of his life. After the death of Alexey Afinogenovich Ilyin, one of his sons and successors - Alexey Alexeevich Ilyin (1857-1942) took over the company, with the participation of the founder's another son Afinogen Alexeevich Ilyin (1857-1904). By the 80s of the 19th century, the publishing activity reached its zenith, in 1882, the enterprise produced up to 6 million impressions that amounted to about 90 percent of all civilian cartographic products published in the country.
The publishing house is particularly notable for the fact that its owners were often the authors, compilers or editors of numerous publications ranging from teaching atlases to basic cartographic products.
Maps and atlases were the main but not the only products of the publisher. It also published literature on the geography, the materials of the Russian Geographical Society (periodicals, monographs, proceedings of expeditions), the proceedings of the Geological and Statistical Committees and other agencies. The publishing house issued a large number of primers and textbooks on astronomy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, foreign languages and other branches of knowledge. From time to time, A. Ilyin's Cartographic Establishment produced its own periodicals: "World Traveller" (1867-1878), "Geographic Chronicle" (1868-1869), "Nature and People" (1877-1880).
High quality printing equipment made it possible to publish a series of intricately illustrated books, including Slavic and Oriental Ornament by Vladimir Stasov (1884-1887), The Art of Central Asia by Nikolai Simakov (1887), the album Coats of Arms of the Regions and Provinces of Russia (1880), and others. A landmark in the country's printing was a facsimile edition of the so-called Izbornik Sviatoslava /Grand Prince Sviatoslav's Miscellanies of 1073 / in 1880. Over 100 titles of reproductions of works of art and postcards were published. The Establishment issued a significant amount of colourful educational materials such as anatomical, botanical, geographical and zoological wall charts.
The firm also published purely commercial items: posters, menus of dinner parties, tickets, diplomas. A number of them were designed by the artist V. Vasnetsov (1848-1926) and are outstanding examples of this genre. Thus, it is clear that the publishing activity of A. Ilyin's Cartographic Establishment was much broader than its name implied.
After nationalization in 1918, the company was renamed the First State Cartographic Enterprise. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, the factory was transferred to under command of the Ministry of Defence. Since the 90s of the 20th century, this company became known as the 444th Military Cartographic Factory. The enterprise on the basis of A. Ilyin's Cartographic Establishment continues its activities, and Ilyin's descendants inherited the cartographer profession and has still worked for it up to now.