Goriachkin, Vasilii

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Goriachkin, Vasilii Prokhorovich


Born Jan. 17 (29), 1868, in the village of Vyksa, now in Gorky Oblast; died Sept. 21, 1935, in Moscow. Soviet scientist. Founder of the science of agricultural technology. Honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1932) and member of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1932).

Goriachkin graduated from the physics and mathematics department of Moscow University in 1890 and from the Moscow Higher Technical School in 1894. In 1896 at the Moscow Agricultural Institute (now the K. A. Timiriazev Moscow Agricultural Academy) he began teaching a course which was new for that time: Farm Machines and Engines. In 1899 he was promoted to adjunct professor and in 1913, to full professor. Between 1904 and 1913, Goriachkin was scientific secretary for the Council of Professors of the Moscow Agricultural Institute. Upon his suggestion the council adopted a resolution according to which the sole guiding factor in the selection of students was to be their degree of preparation and not their social class or property status. Beginning in 1913, Goriachkin was head of the machine-testing station that he had established at the Moscow Agricultural Institute. In 1919–20 he was rector of the Moscow Agricultural Academy. In 1929 he became director of and later consultant to the All-Union Institute of Agricultural Mechanics (later, the All-Union Institute of Agricultural Machine-Building), which was organized on his initiative. It was also on his initiative that the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Agricultural Mechanization was founded in 1931, and he was chairman of the institute’s scientific council until the end of his life.

Goriachkin laid the basis for the contemporary science of farm machinery, which he called agricultural mechanics. He developed the general theory of the plow, the thresher drum, methods of similitude, equalization of the forces of inertia, and the theory of masses and velocities as applied to farm machinery, equipment, and the like. Goriachkin proposed many formulas that have become classics: the tractive forces of plows (1923), the capacity and productivity of thresher drums (1924), and others. He created more than 30 original measuring devices, including traction and rotary dynamometers, micromanometers, a profilograph, a vibro-graph, a unit for the dynamic calibration of measuring springs, devices for recording the vibrations of frames and determining the center of gravity of plows, and devices for determining the friction coefficients of various materials, the degree of compaction in hay, and so forth. He also developed new methods for conducting experimental research on farm machinery; he compiled the first atlas of mechanical drawings of mowers, harvesters, and binders. In 1968, in connection with the 100th anniversary of Goriachkin’s birth, his name was bestowed on the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Agricultural Machine-Building as well as on the Moscow Institute of Agricultural Production Engineers.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–7. Moscow, 1937–49.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1965.


Dubrovskii, A. A. Akademik V. P. Goriachkin. Moscow, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.