Aprelevsky Records Plant

The history

“Aprelevsky Records Factory” was opened on April 1, 1910 close to Moscow in a village of Aprelevka by German businessmen Gottlieb Moll and his son Johann Moll. It was a successful start – during the first year of the factory, operation there were produced more than 400 thousand gramophone records under the “Metropol Record” brand.

After the Great October Socialist Revolution, the factory was nationalized. Johann Moll was arrested, and only later in the end of 1920s, he managed to leave the country and move to Germany. Soviet times became the golden age of for the plant. It was within its walls that Lenin recorded his speeches. In 1925 the factory was renamed “Fabrika pamyati 1905 goda” (“Factory in memory of 1905”) and later as “Aprelevsky zavod pamyati 1905 goda” (“Aprelevsky Factory in 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 the needs of the war.
In early 1950s, the factory started producing vinyl records, in 1952 there were manufactured the first in the country long-playing records and in 1961 – the first stereophonic ones. In 1964, Aprelevsky factory became a part of the “Melodia” record company, the same year there were launched flexible records, which were more affordable. It was the time when Aprelevsky factory manufactured more than half of all records produced in the country, reaching by 1980s the volume of 50 million records annually.

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