The Batashev Factory in Tula is located at Leiteizena St., 12a. Before the 1917 Revolution, this street was called Gryazevskaya. It ran from the wealthy quarters of Verkhnyaya and Nizhnyaya Dvoryanskaya streets to the banks of the Upa River and was also the place where the most successful residents of Tula settled.
Today, guests of the city can include the Batashev Samovar Factory in Tula in their itinerary passing by the Belousov Central Park of Culture and Leisure, Vikentiy Veresaev’s house museum, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and the Exhibition Hall on Krasnoarmeisky Prospekt.
This historical place deserves attention because it was here that water heaters were produced that became famous in Russia and abroad. During nationalization, the production facilities that Batashev Factory owned moved to the Tula Cartridge Plant. Today the Shtamp Plant continues the tradition of samovar production in Tula. It produces samovars heated with wood chips and cones. There are samovars with electric heaters and combined water heaters. The craftsmen at the modern Shtamp Plant accept orders for the most daring projects. There also is a workshop that restores samovars made at the Batashev Factory.
It is worth noting that the history of modern production of samovar, the symbol of Tula, started with the Batashev Samovar Factory. The owner of a watch repair shop, Stepan Batashev, could not have imagined that a small factory he built in 1840, which then burned down in 1861, would become a powerful enterprise conquering international exhibitions with its products.
After a major fire, Batashev's son restored the site on Gryazevskaya right where the old factory was previously located. Thanks to the hardworking 20-year-old Vasily Batashev, aided by his brothers and his mother, a stone building of the Batashev Samovar Factory appeared in Tula. During the nine years of development, its products received honorary certificates at the world exhibition in Paris in 1867, and a silver medal at the manufactory exhibition in St. Petersburg in 1870.
After Vasily Batashev’s death in 1891, his mother, the husband of Vasily’s sister, Fedor Sanftleben, and Vasily’s brother Alexander managed the production of samovars at the factory. The representatives of the dynasty began to introduce equipment for oil and electric traction. The production expanded with more than 100,000 samovars produced in a year, new facilities were constructed. The product range was surprising with water heaters that had several cups to 5 buckets, as well as mass products sold by weight and original copies presented as gifts for royalty. In 1896, the Batashev House became an official supplier to the Court of His Imperial Majesty, which gave them the right to put the coat of arms of the Russian Empire – an indisputable mark of quality – on the factory samovars.
The Batashev water heaters can be found in museums like the Tula Samovar Museum on Mendeleyevskaya St. and the Museum of Samovars and Bouillottes in the village of Grumant. In addition, the products of this particular factory are often found both at Russian and foreign antiques auctions. If you handle a Batashev samovar with care, it will help arrange a tea party equal to those held in the 19th century 130 years later.
Unfortunately, the Batashev house in Tula is currently neither a factory nor a museum. Tours are not possible inside the building since it was redesigned as apartment block. However, city guides include it in their itineraries. Looking at this object, the guests of Tula will gain understanding of pre-revolutionary private production and the beautiful design even industrial buildings had at those times.