In the second half of the 19th century, Kolomna machine works became one of the main symbols of fast-growing railway transport in the Russian Empire. The founding of the machine works in 1863 was prompted by the contruction of the Moscow-Saratov railway when a military engineer Amand Struve (1835-1898), who was overseeing this part of the construction proposed to set up a temporary machine works on the left bank of the river Oka. Locomotive production at Kolomna machine works dates back to 1869 and was one of the few locomotive producers in pre-Revolutionary Russia.
The year 1879 was marked by the celebration of the production of the 500th locomotive. To commemorate this event, medals and badges depicting the locomotive and inscribed '500' were coined and presented to the directors and prominent workers including Samuel Polyakov (1837-1888), who made his fortune in the construction of railways in Russia.
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