Early
life

Haji
Zeynalabdin Tagiyev was born in 1823 in a poor family of shoemakers in Baku.
His mother Ummu passed away when Zeynalabdin was 10 years old. Little
Zeynalabdin was a hardworking and an intelligent child. He worked as a
bricklayer when he was 10 years old.  He
was already specialized in masonry by the age of 12, and he was already a stonemason
when he was 15 years old. After a while he begins to be recognized as a master
of construction and organizer. After saving, and accumulating some amount of
money he started to build houses and sell them. He personally supervised his
subsequent construction work. His style was obvious, in buildings which he
constructed, for example, in the building he lived and personally launched
gymnasium for girls.

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Business

            Later he starts to deal with trade
and light industry.  He succeeds in both
fields thanks to his abilities, owns shops and manufactures. He was one of the
most successful entrepreneurs’ who was exporting Baku oil via Caspian Sea and
Caucasian railway. As a result of purposeful measures, Tagiyev was one of the
first national industrialists to break the colonial character of Azerbaijan’s
economy.

 

Oil
Industry and Transportation       

In 1870, Tagiyev had a
kerosene plant with two boilers. Along with the Kerosene plant, he later
created “H. Z. Tagiyev” company. All Muslim, Russian, and Jewish
charities in Baku chose him as Honorary Chairman. At that time, Baku became the
real oil state. In the villages surrounding Baku, the lands were bought by
investors from Russia and abroad, and oil barriers were raised. This also
attracts Haji and he starts to operate in oil sector. In 1872, when the oil
rich lands were in auction, Tagiyev also rent’s a land. Tagiyev,
who never lost hope, finally actualize his desires. Oil erupts like a fountain
from the lands that he acquired. By registering the oil company “H. Z. Tagiyev”
he pays a high salary to the laborers of Zeynalabdin mine, and installs the
latest equipment. As a result his revenues are rapidly increasing. After that,
he also purchases oil refineries. In 1882, Tagiyev was nominated as a merchant
of the 1st Guild. In 1896 his oil company achieved the highest results in
production. 32 million pounds (512kg) of oil. 
Due to the creation of “Mazut” company, they created the
“Baku-Batumi” oil pipeline joint stock company with the leadership of local
wealthy person Colaq Aghabala Quliyev. At that time, the oil pipeline, which
was considered a gigantic construction, crossed the Kur plain and crossed the
slopes of the Caucasus Mountains and the slopes of Suram Fortress, extending
over 800 kilometers from the Reon Plain and linking the Caspian coast to the
Black Sea coast. Baku oil would lead to oceans, far-away countries and
international markets. Started in 1897, they completed the pipeline
construction in 1907.

 

Weaving
Industry

            In 1897 Tagiyev sold his oilfields to one of the British
companies, and invested to non-oil sector. The Baku textile factory, built by him,
was the beginning of the new production in Azerbaijan. In order to supply the
textile factory with raw materials, Tagiyev purchased land for cotton
cultivation in Yevlakh region and built a cotton-cleaning plant in Javad in
1909. The trade house, which is considered to be the largest shopping center in
Baku, was also created by Tagiyev.

 

 

Fishing
Industry