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Working paper

Stalin`s Inventors: Leonid Zherebov and Soviet Pulp Industry, the 1940s-1960s

This paper examines Soviet engineer Leonid Zherebov, an inventor of continuous pulp cooker. After twenty-five years of experiments, Zherebov’s design failed, and Soviet factories began to produce pulp using imported Swedish digesters. This article examines the biography of Leonid Zherebov and continuous pulp cooking in order to better understand the nature of Russian technological innovation and its failures. It emphasizes the communication between different institutions involved as well as a range of technological, social, economic and political factors. The paper contends that technological failures were emerged from the failure of Soviet forestry as a technological system due to a lack of open discussion between its builders and the scarcity of resources required for innovation.