Piotr Smirnov first founded his vodka distillery in Moscow in the 1860s, under the trading name of PA Smirnoff. He died in 1910 and was succeeded by Vladimir Smirnov. The company flourished and produced more than 4 million cases of vodka per year. During the October Revolution, the distillery was confiscated and the family had to flee.
Vladimir Smirnov re-established the factory in 1920 in Istanbul. Four years later he moved to Lwów (formerly Poland, now Lviv, Ukraine) and started to sell the vodka under the contemporary French spelling of the name, "Smirnoff". The new product was a success and by the end of 1930 it was exported to most European countries. An additional distillery was founded in Paris in 1925, and it is now distributed in 130 countries.