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one of the largest and oldest museums of science and technology in the USSR, located in Moscow. It was founded by P. N. Iablochkov, A. G. Stoletov, P. N. Lebedev, and other scientists in 1872 to replace the first polytechnical exhibition in Russia, which was organized by the Society of Lovers of Natural Science, Anthropology, and Ethnology in observation of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Peter I. Construction of the first part of the building for the museum was completed in 1877 in the square by the Il’inka Gates.
The expositions in the Polytechnical Museum have reflected basic stages in the development of technology and of such sciences as chemistry and physics, as well as the achievements of the most important sectors of the socialist economy. The museum has departments of power engineering, radio engineering, metallurgy, mining, chemistry, physics, machine building, automation, computer technology and space technology. The total number of exhibits exceeded 40,000 (1974).
An important function of the museum is the organizing of general and specialized excursions. The museum has also established the People’s University of Technological Progress and Economics for engineers and technicians and for peredoviki (exemplary workers) in industry. Traditional Sunday lectures have been presented since 1887.
The Polytechnical Library is located in the building of the Polytechnical Museum. The museum has been one of the central institutions of the All-Union Society Znanie (Knowledge) since 1947. Exhibitions by foreign commercial firms are arranged periodically. Before the October Revolution of 1917, the number of visitors to the museum did not exceed 150,000 annually; in 1972 the museum had 1,500,000 visitors. On Apr. 29 and Aug. 23, 1918, V. I. Lenin addressed audiences in the large auditorium of the museum. The Polytechnical Museum was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1972.
REFERENCESMartynenko, I. I. Politekhnicheskii muzei. Moscow, 1962.
Mir chudes (100 let Politekhnicheskomu muzeiu). Moscow, 1972.
N. A. NEMIROVICH