Birth of craft
An extract from the book «The crafts of the Moscow guberniya» by Andrey Isaev
Tray manufacturing came to Troitskaya volost from Moscow. Here we meet a curious case of how one field of manufacture may turn into another field with little in common between the two. One man named Korobov established workshop for making miscellaneous knickknacks of papier-mache in Moscow at the end of the 18-th centure (1790). Then he moved it to derevnya Zhostovo in Troitskaya volost. At the same time or a little before that another man named Filipp Vishnyakov established a similar workshop in Moscow . People knew him as a man ardently devoted to his employ. People say that he would stay up the livelong night, inventing new improvements of his goods .
His son Osip, a skillful master moved away from his father, came to derevnya Zhostovo in Troitskaya volost and here established his own workshop (1825). His workshop with its sizes growing and fineness of its goods increasing, became a hothouse for other workshops. Their owners appeared by way of apprenticeship.
Here along with little trunks, snuff-boxes, cigarette-cases and other, trays of papier-mache were made . However on exhibition in Mitava in 1836 local trays being not very strong were to yeild the palm to Siberian trays of iron.
Defeated producers did not become despondent and rather then invading market with pasteboard trays which had lost confidence of the audience they decided to master some methods of creating metallic trays.
Siberian trays were firm yet suffered from one shortcoming: it was inconvenient to paint them. This disadvantage got eliminated by our producers and through this they became real rivals to Siberian merchants. Significant demand on trays evoked intensification of this manufacture and new workshops were established.
Newly appeared manufactures produce iron trays but old manufactures still make knicknacks of pasteboard. An interesting example of how two technically different crafts coexist due to their historical link. However making of trays prevails. If person has got habit for processing metal in a certain form he will not have trouble to pass to making other things of such metal.
That is how manufacture of miscellaneous metallic things began to penetrate into the environment of tray producers. Church candles, cockades for soldier caps, boards for clock and many other items were introduced by Moscow dealers .
In great need for masters and with no masters handy dealers ordered trifles from the tray masters. Finding the price profitable, they would take these orders and master new skills. Some of them would leave their craft to establish new manufacture. So the beginnings brought by Moscow merchants have put deep roots in the local soil.
There are six hams inTroitskaya volost where we find workshops producing articles of iron and tin (I don't mention here hams with workshops which make only pasterboard articles). The most part of this volost belongs to earl Sheremetev.