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Old 08-01-2009, 11:36 PM   #1
deValcourt
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Badge "1st State Ball Bearing Factory"

I got this badge and its box recently. All I know about it is the description "Moscow 1st State Instrument Factory." That's cool. The badge looks nice enough, but while I was waiting for it to arrive, I started thinking - "instrument"...hmmm. I assumed it was musical instruments they built, being a musician and all, but then I realized "instrument" could be translated from anything to do with tools, surgical equipemnt, etc. Plus the badge has no musical symbols on it.

So if anybody has a clue what this factory made and why they might have a badge they seem very proud of, please let me know. I don't remember this particular place when I lived there, but then I don't remember a lot of places in Moscow (even when I had been there):piva:nono Young and stupid.

Thanks in advance,
Phillip
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:28 AM   #2
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Re: Help with this badge please

The "1 GPZ" could be "First State (?) Factory" - I have no idea how the "P" would be related to "instruments." Maybe someone else has got a clue.

Interesting and nice quality badge.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:26 AM   #3
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Re: Help with this badge please

1ГПЗ - Государственный Подшипниковый Завод – 1st State Ball Bearing Factory
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:35 PM   #4
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Re: Help with this badge please

That explains the design, but I sure wasn't expecting all of that pomp for ball bearings.:rolleyes: So be it. I like it and that's what counts.
Thank you.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: Help with this badge please

On the contrary, precise manufacturing of parts such as ball bearings was extremely important. Below was taken from CHAPTER VII: The Deaf Mutes and the Soviet Missile Threat

American Ball Bearings for Missile Guidance System

In the late 1960s Soviet missiles were extremely inaccurate. According to Abraham Shifrin, a former Defense Ministry official, they could hardly find the United States, let alone a specific target. By the late 1970s their accuracy was so improved that Soviets could guarantee a high proportion of hits on a target as small as the White House.

The technological roadblock was mass production of miniaturised precision ball bearings for guidance systems.

In the early 1960s Soviets attempted to buy U.S. technology for mass production of miniaturised precision bearings. The technology was denied. However, in 1972 the necessary grinders were sold by Bryant Chucking Grinder Company and its products are today used in Soviet guided missile systems and gyroscopes. Specifically, the Soviets were then able to MIRY their missiles and increase their accuracy.

This is how the tragedy came about.

Ball bearings are an integral part of weapons systems, there is no substitute. The entire ball bearing production capability of the Soviet Union is of Western origin — utilizing equipment from the United States, Sweden, Germany, and Italy. This transfer has been fully documented elsewhere by this author (see Bibliography). All Soviet tanks and military vehicles run on bearings manufactured on Western equipment or copies of Western equipment. All Soviet missiles and related systems including guidance systems have bearings manufactured on Western equipment or Soviet duplicates of this equipment.

One firm in particular, the Bryant Chucking Grinder Company of Springfield, Vermont, has been an outstanding supplier of ball bearing processing equipment to the Soviets. In 1931 Bryant shipped 32.2 percent of its output to the USSR. In 1934, 55.3 percent of its output went to Russia. There were no luther shipments until 1938, when the Soviets again bought one-quarter of Bryant's annual output. Major shipments were also made under Lend-Lease. Soviet dependence on the West for ball bearings technology peaked after the years 1959-61, when the Soviets required a capability for mass production, rather than laboratory or batch production, of miniature precision ball bearings for weapons systems. The only company in the world that could supply the required machine for a key operation in processing the races for precision bearings (the Centalign-B) was the Bryant Chucking Grinder Company. The Soviet Union had no such mass production capability. Its miniature ball bearings in 1951 were either imported or made in small lots on Italian and other imported equipment.

In 1960 there were sixty-six Centalign-B machines in the United States. Twenty-five of these machines were operated by the Miniature Precision Bearing Company, Inc., the largest manufacturer of precision ball bearings, and 85 percent of Miniature Precision's output went to military applications. In 1960 the USSR entered an order with Bryant Chucking for forty-five similar machines. Bryant consulted the Department of Commerce. When the department indicated its willingness to grant a license, Bryant accepted the order.

The Commerce Department's argument for granting a license turned on the following points: (1) the process achieved by the Centalign was only a single process among several required for ball bearing production, (2) the machine could be bought elsewhere, and (3) the Russians were already able to make ball bearings.

The Department of Defense entered a strong objection to the export of the machines on the following grounds:

In the specific case of the granting of the export license for high-frequency grinders manufactured by Bryant Chucking Grinder after receiving the request for DOD's opinion from the Department of Commerce, it was determined that all of the machines of this type currently available in the United States were being utilized for the production of bearings utilized in strategic components for military end items. It was also determined from information that was available to us that the Soviets did not produce a machine of this type or one that would be comparable in enabling the production of miniature ball bearings of the tolerances and precision required. A further consideration was whether machines of comparable capacity and size can be made available from Western Europe. In this connection, our investigation revealed that none was in production that would meet the specifications that had been established by the Russians for these machines. In the light of these considerations it was our opinion that the license should not be granted.

The Inter-Departmental Advisory Committee on Export Control, which includes members from the Commerce and State Departments as well as the CIA, overruled the Department of Defense opinion, and "a decision was made to approve the granting of the license." The Department of Defense made further protests, demanding proof that either the USSR or Western Europe was capable of producing such machines. No such proof was forthcoming.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:51 PM   #6
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Re: Help with this badge please

Well Art, I suppose my "sarcasm" emoticon should be more obvious. ;)

This is really interesting information. I know "the world runs on ball bearings" (heard it in a movie). I suppose I simply guessed that the average Joseph on the street would have no idea of the importance of what these were being used for and did not expect such an ornate badge, but this isn't the first time I was mistaken. Thank you for the excerpt. It sort of reminds me of the current situation in Afghanistan after the CIA trained and supplied our latest enemies because we were afraid they'd be "commies." Hindsight and all that.

Really, though...excellent information.

Thank you,
Phillip
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:04 AM   #7
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Re: Help with this badge please

My pleasure Phillip..excellent badge!
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:51 AM   #8
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Re: Help with this badge please

Quote:
Originally Posted by devalcourt View Post
Well Art, I suppose my "sarcasm" emoticon should be more obvious. ;)
Art's just busting your ball-bearings.
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