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The State Enterprise of Special Instrumentation Arsenal, commonly abbreviated to Arsenal Factory (Завод Арсенал), was one of the oldest and most famous state-owned factories in Kiev (Ukraine). It was founded in 1764 by the Russian Empire, as a military production and maintenance facility, and was initially located at a fortress compound in the Pechersk (Печерськ) district of Kiev [1].

Official Arsenal company logo

During World War II (WWII), Arsenal produced military equipment for the Red Army, such as anti-tank, anti-aircraft and artillery guns. To avoid the factory being damaged or lost due to bombing by the Germans, production was relocated to the Urals in 1941. In 1946, shortly after WWII had ended, it returned to Kiev and went on under the name Arsenal Factory (Завод Арсенал) [1].

Original logo of the Kiev photography brand. Click for further information

This is also the time that the company started production of consumer equipment, such as the Kiev range of photo cameras. The latter had become possible as a result of the outcome of the war. The production facilities of the Zeiss factory in Dresden (Germany) had been ceased and relocated to Kiev, where they were initially used to make copies of well-known cameras, like Hasselblad, Zeiss Ikon, Nikon and Pentacon. The company later also developed its own cameras.

In 2009 — after a history of 245 years — it was announced that the Arsenal Factory had stopped nearly all manufacturing of consumer products and that most of the workforce had been layed off. [2]. This marked the end of the famous Kiev photo camera brand, but most of its former staff have since found a new job at the Arax camera factory, also located in Kiev (Ukraine) [2].

After that, the original Arsenal Factory continued with the production of special equipment — mainly for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense — in its Special Construction Department (SKTB). Plans for an official Arsenal Museum in the city of Kiev are ongoing, but have been delayed several times [1]. In August 2018, the official website of the Arsenal Factory was closed down [5].

  1. Wikipedia, Kiev Arsenal
    Retrieved January 2019.

  2. Vintage Camera lab, Kiev - Vintage Camera Brand
    Retrieved January 2019.

  3. Gevorg Vartanyan, Arsenal factory is History - Kiev is dead, ling live Kievs
    Photrio website, 9 November 2009.

  4. Arax Foto, official company website
    Retrieved January 2019.

  5. Arsenal Factory, official company website
    Defunct as of August 2018.  WayBack Machine snapshot of 26 April 2018
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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 21 January 2019. Last changed: Monday, 21 January 2019 - 09:49 CET.
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