Samovar is purely Russian invention. Its origin is connected with tea.
Tea was delivered to Russia from the territory of West Mongolia in the
17-th century and was used as medicine among the nobility. Tea was a
competitor of sbiten, the most favourite drink in Russia. Its components
are: hot water, medicinal herbs and honey.
In the 18-th century in the Urals and Tula samovar-kitchens were invented,
they were divided into three parts — in two of them the meals
was cooked, in the third — tea. Sbitennik and samovar-kitchen
were samovar prototypes.
There are different versions of
the first samovars manufacture, they were produced in the Urals, Moscow,
Saint-Petersburg, Tula, later in Vladimirskaja, Jaroslavskaja and Vjatskaja
provinces. The first samovar factory was founded in Tula by Nasar Usitsin
The town of gunsmiths became familiar
to all the world as the center of samovar manufacture due to rich ore
deposits, highly qualified masters who worked metals and location of
Tula in the vicinity of Moscow.
Samovar manufacture appeared to
be very profitable. Handicraftsmen quickly became manufacturers, workshops
— samovar manufactures. In 1826 there were eight samovar factories,
in 1896 — seventy.
Samovars were made from cupronic-kel,
red and green copper, pinchbeck, in some cases — from silver.
Sometimes they were plated with gold, silver, but basic metal was always
— brass. In the course of centuries samovar shapes changed. By
the end of the 19-th century their quantity reached 165. It was almost
impossible to mechanize samovars manufacture completely. Tools were
also unchanged. By hand assembly five-six samovars per day were produced.
The highest peak of samovar manufacture
in Tula is related to the 80s of the 19-th century.
Samovar was not only the feature
of home comfort, the symbol of Russian hospitality, but also the sign
of good circumstances.
Among monuments of folk domestic art
samovars occupy specific place.
They may be considered
not only as domestic utensils, some of them are real works of applied
arts. Each true master wanted to astonish the customers be their creative
design, durability in combination with decorative qualities caused interest
to samovars on the part of the people all over the world.
The manufacturers taking part at the
exhibitions were constantly awarded with medals, the reprints of them
were presented on the samovar walls.Tula samovars were spread all over
At the fairs there were sold samovars
of different shapes: vase-shaped, pear-shaped, wine-glass-shaped and others.
Prices reduction in the process of manufacture caused standardization
of samovar shapes. The so-called cylindrical samovars were widely spread.
In Tula coal samovars were produced,
the water in them was heated by charcoal, kerosene samovars and combined
variants, the water in which was heated by any type of fuel.
Prices were fixed in dependence of
a shape, material and dimension. Simple samovars were sold by poods. Articles
of complicated shapes (presents, made to order) were sold by the piece.
During all the 19-th century portable
samovars were produced in Tula, as a rule, they were many-sided, cubic,
right-angled. Production technology was greatly improved for two hundred
years. There are used presses, conveyor lines, casting under pressure.
At "Shtamp" plant nickel-plating automatic line was introduced. Some samovars
are decorated with art rolling. The plant produces samovars of different
types: coal — of six versions, from 1956 — electrical, volume
2-3 litres, for buffets, combined and painted.
Folk traditions exist, develop. Beautiful
samovars made as presents are produced at this plant. Tula samovars were
often awarded with medals at native and international exhibitions.