His distillery was the first in the world to use charcoal filtering process. By 1886 the Smirnov factory recieved the official purveyors to the Imperial Russian court mark. Piotr Smirnov dies in 1910 and is succeeded by his son, Vladimir Smirnov. The company flourishes and produces 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 Constantinople. Four years later he moved to Lvov and started to sell the vodka under a new, french name "Smirnoff". The new product was a success and by the end of 1930 it was exported to most european countries. Additional distillery was founded in Paris in 1925.
However, the great crisis made Vladimir Smirnov sell the brand to an American Rudolph Kunett in 1934, who moved the company to the USA. Thanks to the succesful advertisement campaigns, the american Smirnoff vodka is now one of the best-selling vodkas in the world.