Aprelevsky Records factory

The history

German businessmen Gottlieb Moll and his son Johann Moll founded the Aprelevsky Records factory not far from Moscow, in Aprelevka village, on April 1, 1910. It was a successful start – during the first year of its operation more than 400 thousand gramophone records under the “Metropol Record” brand were produced.

After the Great October Socialist Revolution, the factory was nationalized. Johann Moll was arrested, and only later by the end of 1920s, he managed to leave the country and move to Germany. Soviet times became the golden age of for the factory. Vladimir Lenin recorded his speeches in it. In 1925 the factory was renamed “Fabrika pamyati 1905 goda” (“Factory in the memory of 1905”) and later as “Aprelevsky zavod pamyati 1905 goda” (“Aprelevsky Factory in the memory of 1905”). During the World War II (1941-1945), the factory was producing entirely records with one song – “Svyaschennaya voyna” (“Holy war”), all the rest production facilities served for the needs of the war.
In early 1950s, the factory started producing vinyl records, in 1952 the first long-playing records were manufactured, in 1961 – the first stereophonic ones. In 1964, Aprelevsky factory became a part of the “Melodia” record company, the production of the flexible records started the same year. It was the time when Aprelevsky factory manufactured much of all records produced in the country and reached the volume of 50 million records annually by 1980’s.

The changes in the country in the 1990’s effected “Melodia’s” operation, all enterprises became independent, at the same time, the demand for records decreased dramatically, as well as consumers’ purchasing power, and the market was invaded by CDs. The Aprelevsky factory became unprofitable; its cooperation with the independent clients or cassettes production could not by then help to prop up the factory. The last batch of records was produced in 1997. In 2007, B.V. Chukhontsev, an entrepreneur and a dentist, opened the Museum of the Aprelevsky Records factory (its other name is “Museum of the neglected people and objects”) in the former factory head office. Museum’s collection includes – records, gramophones and phonographs, photos and various rarities, telling about the glorious history of the factory.