Zlatoust is a town of the Urals skilled craftsmen. Its name is connected with the name of a Christian divine Iohann Zlatoust. In November 1751 while signing the contract about the creation of a new “Ural iron-producing plant”, Tulas traders recorded it as Zlatoust plant.
The Idea to establish an armory in Zlatoust appeared in the XIX century. And on the 20th of February 1807 Alexander I issued an edict commanding the Senate “Begin building the Factory immediately”. However they started building only in 1815 after the victory in the Patriotic war. So in 1815 with the Highest Decree the Arms Factory was founded. The first blades were forged and decorated under the guidance of German masters from Zolingen and Klingeltall, invited by Russian government.
St. Ioan Zlatoust Zlatoust factory (1910)
Artist-engravers F. Strizhenov, A. Lepeshkov, A. Bushuev, the whole dynasties of the Boyarshinovs, Telezhnikovs and other masters of blade forged the fame of the town at the dawn of formation of Zlatoust decorated side-arms school the founder of which is considered Ivan Bushuev – well-known as “Ivanko-Krylatko”. Up to nowadays the knights armor made on basis of his sketches by a group of side-masters have still been impressing everybody. Presented to the heir of the Tzar throne, Alexander II, it was the acme of perfection of all metal treatment techniques existed those days: etching, blueing, blackening, gilding and embossing, carving, faceting as well.
In 1817 Very famous Russian metallurgist Pavel Anosov began working at the factory and worked there till 1847. With his assistance, crucible steel fusion was introduced in the factory, learned mining society was established at Zlatoust factories, the first chemistry laboratory was opened. In 1828 he began experiments on damask (Damascus) steel.
In 1833 the first blade of Anosov's damask steel was forged. Later on, the high-quality items made of this steel become widely known far beyond the bounds of Zlatoust. In 1841 as the interest for damask steel grew, Anosov decided to summarize his immense experience in the article “About damask steel”, which is still a practical and scientific guide for many researchers.
Zlatoust armourers provided the Russian Army with sabres, cavalery swords, daggers and dirks. Many heroes of past battles in Russian history were honoured with a special award - a norminal Zlatoust blade.