In the land of Turkmen, Prokudin- Gorskii visited cotton mills and dams to document the achievements of the cotton industry, which the Russian government promoted in the area. Cotton cultivation increased tremendously following the completion of the railroad from the Caspian Sea to Samarkand and Tashkent. Located close to the ruins of Merv, the railroad station of Bairam-Ali was key in exporting cotton from the gins at the Tsar’s Murghab estate to the textile mills of Moscow and Vladimir in European Russia. Brightly colored and affordable Russian-made cotton prints found their way back to Central Asian bazaars and into the homes of the rich and poor.

 

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