Petrushevskii, Vasilii Fomich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Petrushevskii, Vasilii Fomich


Born Nov. 24 (Dec. 6), 1829, in St. Petersburg; died there Apr. 23 (May 5), 1891. Russian scientist, artilleryman, and chemist; lieutenant general (1881). Brother of F. F. Petrushevskii.

After graduation from the First Cadet Corps in 1848 and the officers’ classes of the Mikhail Artillery School in 1850, Petrushevskii taught at military schools. He served in the Neva coast batteries from 1854. He designed a grenade percussion tube, a bubble quadrant, an improved sighting device, and other items. From 1856 to 1858 he was a professor at the Mikhail Artillery Academy. In 1868, Petrushevskii became a member of the Naval Technical Committee and the Artillery Committee of the Main Artillery Directorate. In 1871 he was appointed director of the St. Petersburg Ammunitions Plant and did a great deal to streamline production. Together with N. N. Zinin in 1853-54 and later independently, he worked on the use of nitroglycerine as an explosive—he implemented its factory production, suggested an igniter for it, and applied it in mines. In the 1860’s he invented a range finder for coast artillery with automatic electrical transmission of observation data from both ends of the base. In the 1880’s he modified it into an optical horizontal-base range finder.


Averbukh, A. Ia. V. F. Petrushevskii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963. (Bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.