As for the Penza lands, artistic glass handicraft is believed to appear on the 3rd
of August 1764. On this day, Empress Catherine II signed a decree authorizing the retired second major Aleksey Ivanovich Bakhmetev to set up a glass and crystal factory in his Nikolsk village.
At the beginning of the 19th century, they began to found a high-grade crystal being a hand-craft precious material.
In 1923, the factory was named ‘Krasny Gigant’ (‘Red Giant’) and, due to a complicated situation in the country, began to produce simple glass-ware.
Since the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, they set up optical glass production which became one of the key factory fields during the post-war period.
In the second half of the 20th century, the factory became one of the biggest enterprises producing and exporting crystal. The factory produced classic precious hand-craft crystal applying ancient processing techniques. At the end of the 20th century they set up production of simple glass items.
Nowadays, on the territory of the factory there are shops equipped with the most up-to-date facilities, while highly qualified masters (most of them are inhabitants of Nikolsk) produce not only mass market items combining practical properties with extraordinary beauty, but create to order objects being replicas of famous masterpieces of the Bakhmetev factory as well.