Nartov, Andrei

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nartov, Andrei Konstantinovich


Born 1693; died Apr. 16 (27), 1756, in St. Petersburg. Russian scientist, mechanic, and sculptor.

In the lathe workshop of the Moscow School of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences, Nartov worked his way up from the position of a worker to become workshop director (1705–12). In 1712, while working in the St. Petersburg Court Workshops, he became Peter I’s personal lathe operator; he was made the director of the lathe workshop in 1723. Between 1718 and 1720, Nartov visited Germany, England, and France. He studied under P. Varignon in Paris.

Nartov was concerned with both scientific and social matters. Beginning in 1712 he developed a number of mechanized lathes for making copies of bas-reliefs and for producing works of applied art Among the other lathes that he developed was the world’s first screw-cutting lathe with a mechanized support and a set of interchangeable gears (1738).

In 1723, Nartov helped design and build the Triumphal Column in St. Petersburg (now in the Hermitage, Leningrad) in honor of Peter I and his victories in the Northern War. In 1724 he presented a plan for establishing an “academy of diverse arts,” where instruction would be given not only in drawing, sculpture, and architecture but also in such technical fields as building trades, metalworking, and design. In 1733, Nartov built a mechanism for hoisting the Tsar Bell. From 1742 to 1743 he served as the director of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the author of Authentic Stories About and Speeches by Peter the Great (1727) and the Teatrum machinarum (1737–56). The latter work, which has been preserved in manuscript form, contains the designs of many machine tools.


Vasil’ev, V. N. “Sochinenie A. K. Nartova ’Teatrum makhinarum.’” In Russkaia kul’tura i iskusstvo [vol.] 1. Leningrad. 1959. (Trudy Gos. Ermitazha, vol. 3.)
Zagorskii, F. N. Andrei Konstantinovich Nartov. Leningrad,1969.


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