Obukhov, Pavel Matveevich
Born Oct. 30 (Nov. 11), 1820; died Jan. 1 (13), 1869. Russian metallurgist; founder of a large plant for steel casting and the manufacture of steel cannon in Russia. Son of an inspector at the Votkinsk Iron Works.
After graduating from the Institute of the Corps of Mining Engineers in St. Petersburg (1843) with the Large Gold Medal, Obukhov worked in the Urals. In 1854 he was made director of the Zlatoust Armory, where he completed his work on an improved method of producing cast steel by the crucible process. In 1857 he was granted a license for his invention of a method for mass production of high-grade crucible steels. During the late 1850’s he designed a new armaments factory, which was to produce steel artillery pieces. The factory began production in 1860; it was called the Prince Mikhail Works. Thus, Obukhov originated the use of cast steel for the manufacture of cannon barrels, which was a turning point in the history of Russian artillery. At the international exhibition in London (1862), Obukhov’s steel cannon withstood 4,000 firings without damage and was awarded a gold medal. In 1861, Obukhov was elected corresponding member of the Artillery Committee and was appointed head of the Zlatoust Mining District. In 1863 he became director of the construction of a large steel casting plant in St. Petersburg, which came to be called the Obukhov Plant (now the Bol’shevik Plant). He died in the village of Piatra (in Moldavia) and was buried in St. Petersburg.
REFERENCESSorokin, Iu. N. “Rel’ P. M. Obukhova v osnovanii staleliteinogo proizvodstva v Rossii.” Iu. In-ta istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki, 1955, vol. 3.
Federov, A. S. Tvortsy nauki o metalle. Moscow, 1969.
N. K. LAMAN