His subordinates called him Grandpa

His subordinates called him Grandpa

June 27, 2022

The Norilsk Combine’s chief mechanic Leonid Danilov is one of the Norilsk legends: he had several dozen inventions.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Danilov was born in the Kovrov city, Ivanovsky Region in 1927. The Danilov family was left without a father early, and thirteen-year-old Leonid had to work. But the boy really wanted to learn more. He entered a vocational school having added a year to himself. The War began a year later, and the cabinetmaker Leonid completed his studies ahead of schedule. School graduates were sent to a military plant in Siberia and then to the Norilsk Combine in 1944.

First, Leonid was assigned to the Small concentrating plant as a mechanic’s apprentice. He was sent to foremen-mechanics’ courses three years later. This allowed Danilov to work at the Large concentrating plant and at the Copper plant then.

Danilov graduated from an evening school, then a technical school and an evening institute already being the father of a two-year-old daughter. He was awarded with the scientific title Associate professor without defending candidate’s dissertation for the enormous scientific work that he had been carrying out throughout his life, and for outstanding rationalization ideas.

Danilov was appointed the Combine’s chief mechanic’s department’s chief engineer in the early 1970s and headed the department in 1978. In total, Leonid Danilov worked at the Combine for almost half a century.

Danilov developed the extraordinary ore-thermal furnaces’ reconstruction’s method. The new technology consisted in raising and pushing aside the old structure (it was dismantled later), and beginning the new furnace’s installation in this place. The reconstruction period was halved.

Danilov participated in all major construction projects. He created an extensive and powerful repair service and the chief designer’s department.

It was said about him:

A monument to Danilov should be erected for debugging the Combine’s equipment repair system.

The Norilsk resident Arkady Vinitsky wrote about him in his memoirs:

Short, plump, with a lively face, Leonid Danilov was very much like Khrushchev. Danilov’s subordinates called him Grandpa among themselves. Ship’s chief mechanics are called so in the Navy. This name suited him very well. There are people whose faces make it difficult to judge their reaction to what is happening. Grandpa was not like that. You could tell exactly what he was feeling at the moment. How bright was his face when he liked what the speaker was saying! He began nodding his head, sometimes even waving his hand. But Danilov’s face immediately changed when the speaker said something stupid.

A statement that something could not be done for some reason caused Grandpa’s indignation and sometimes even rage. Grandpa upset such specialists immediately. There were no objective difficulties for him: these were only problems that needed to be removed. And he knew how to find problems for himself. Probably, Grandpa was the world champion in this part.

Having headed the ordinary chief mechanic’s department with one repair unit and a mechanical plant, he, retiring, left a huge complex: two specialized trusts, two mechanical plants, a specialized laboratories’ bunch equipped with the latest technology.

In the History Spot photo project previous publication we told about the Norilsk Combine’s supply system’s founder.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

June 27, 2022

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