The main occupations of the population of Kurgan, Tobolsk province at the beginning of the twentieth century were trade and crafts. Buttermaking, flour milling and distilling were the leaders in production. Their development dictated the need to create workshops and factories for the production and repair of equipment. At the end of the XIX — beginning of the XX century, mechanical engineering was born in the Trans-Urals. Its beginning is considered to be 1900, when in the village of Logovushka, 20 kilometers from the Kurgan, a small mechanical workshop appeared at the starch and treacle factory of A.P. Vanyukov and A.N. Balakshin. It was headed by engineer Sergey Alexandrovich Balakshin, who received an excellent technical education in Germany. In 1904, S.A. Balakshin built a cast iron foundry, which first produced churns, and in 1905 the first hydro turbine in Siberia was manufactured here. The Bogatyr and Borets turbines, produced in various modifications for rivers with different water rises, found deserved recognition not only in the vast territory from the Urals to Irkutsk, but also in European Russia; demand for them far exceeded the plant's capabilities. Balakshin turbines have been repeatedly awarded medals at Russian and international exhibitions. In 1908 alone, they were awarded a Large silver Medal at the World Industrial Exhibition in Stockholm and the Grand Prix and a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Marseille.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, old forms of trade are being replaced by new ones. They lose their former meaning of the fair. Representatives of large trading companies, both Russian and foreign, without waiting for fairs, bought agricultural products. By 1909, there were 12 firms operating in Kurgan (mainly English and Danish) engaged in the export of butter, five firms were engaged in the export of eggs, 10 firms were selling agricultural implements, the leader among which was the American firm McCormick. The bread trade was conducted by 40 merchants and two trading houses.