Russian Technical Society

Russian Technical Society


a scientific society founded in 1866 in St. Petersburg. It set as its task the promotion of technology and industry in Russia. The society originally had four sections: chemical engineering and metallurgy, mechanics and mechanical engineering, civil engineering and mining, and military and naval engineering. The following sections were subsequently established: photography and its applications (1878), electrical engineering and aerostation (1880), railroad engineering (1881), and engineering education (1884). By 1914, five more sections had been organized: agriculture, industrial economics, facilitation of labor, mining, and technology of the urban and rural economy. In 1916 sections on land reclamation and fuel were formed.

By 1896 there were 23 local sections of the Russian Technical Society. In 1867 the society began publishing Zapiski Russkogo tekhnicheskogo obshchestva (Proceedings of the Russian Technical Society; from 1874 Zapiski Imperatorskogo russkogo tekhnicheskogo obshchestva [Proceedings of the Imperial Russian Technical Society]), and its sections began publishing the magazines Elektrichestvo (Electricity), Fotograf (The Photographer), Zheleznodorozhnoe delo (Railroading), and Tekhnika vozdukhoplavaniia (Aerostation Technology). The local sections published Trudy (Transactions), Vestnik (Herald), and Zapiski (Proceedings).

The society opened general educational schools and special classes in engineering, trades, design, and drawing at factories and plants. Trade schools, as well as special foremen’s schools and schools for printing, electrical engineering, and watchmaking, were operating under the society’s auspices. The society arranged public lectures and discussions to popularize technical knowledge; it subsidized experiments and research, and it published a technical dictionary. The society sponsored the studies “On the Elasticity of Gases” by D. I. Mendeleev and “On Friction in Machines” by N. P. Petrov. The society’s sections developed general regulations for using various electrical machines and devices.

The society organized conventions for various branches of technology—for example, the conventions of mechanical engineers in 1875, for technical education and vocational training in 1889 and 1896, and for electrical engineering in 1899; it also took an active part in international conventions, congresses, and exhibitions. In Russia the society held four electrical-engineering exhibitions (1880, 1882, 1885, and 1892), two industrial exhibitions (1892 and 1896), two textile shows (1870 and 1882), and an electroplating technology exhibition (1889).

After the October Revolution of 1917, the Russian Technical Society reorganized its operations. In 1923 it received a new charter, and an operations program entitled “On the Basic Needs of Industry” was compiled. In 1929 the society was closed down, and in 1931 various engineering and technical societies were organized to replace it (seeSCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SOCIETIES OF THE USSR).

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