First electric stoves in Norilsk appeared in 1960s

First electric stoves in Norilsk appeared in 1960s

September 22, 2023

Wood stoves were cumbersome, they were equipped with chimneys and fired with coal and wood. The process of cooking on such hearths was also difficult, because the oven first had to be lit.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. It is interesting that stoves were installed not only in Stalinist kitchens, but even in the first Hrushchev-era buildings – on Leninsky prospect, Zavenyagin street. And this despite the fact that kitchens there were very limited in usable area. Residents of those years complained that the ventilation of Hrushchev houses was not adapted for chimneys, and when trying to light the stoves, residents of the upper floors also found themselves in smoke.

Wood burning stove. 1957

It is not surprising that long before the widespread transition to everyday life electrification, Norilsk residents themselves bought portable electric stoves. This is how the city newspaper described it in 1961:

Leninsky Prospekt, 20. One of the first houses where electric stoves appeared in the kitchens

“Almost all Norilsk residents cook on electric stoves. Fire stoves are lit only when pies are baked. But many people already have electric ovens. Over the past three to four years, all canteens in the city, as well as the kitchens of kindergartens, nurseries, and hospitals, have been electrified. So the electrification of everyday life, trade enterprises and housing and communal services has become a real fact in Norilsk.

Today, no one would think of switching kitchens in dining rooms to fire stoves. However, we continue to build residential buildings with fire slabs. We need to be more courageous in switching to electric ones! And even if Norilsk is not allocated the required number of electric stoves, they can be manufactured in the Elektromontazh construction department or electrical repair shop.

There are already houses in Norilsk with electric stoves installed. One of them, at 11 Octyabrskaya street, was built back in 1957. Ask residents if they are happy with their kitchens and they will answer yes! The stoves were made in Norilsk. Another house – Stalin prospect, 10 (now it is Leninsky prospect, 20) was inhabited at the beginning of last year. Here, too, no one regrets that there is no bulky wood stove, which only takes up extra space. Other cities also borrowed the experience of Norilsk residents. Why do they continue to install such huge cookers? Tribute to antiquity? Designers should answer this question. And the sooner the better”.

Since 1962, by order of the City Executive Committee, all new buildings in the city were commissioned with stationary electric stoves instead of wood-burning stoves. So Norilsk became a city with everyday life electrification.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that journalists and writers frequented Norilsk in the 1970s.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

September 22, 2023

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