Sobolevskii, Petr GrigorEvich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sobolevskii, Petr Grigor’Evich


Born Feb. 4 (15), 1782, in St. Petersburg; died there Oct. 24 (Nov. 5), 1841. Russian engineer and scientist. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1830).

Sobolevskii graduated from the St. Petersburg Land Forces Cadet Corps in 1798. In 1811 he designed a lamp in which the illumination came from gas (“thermal lamp”). In 1815 he began working at the Kama-Votkinsk plant, first as an engineer and then as a manager. In 1815 he introduced a puddling method he had perfected into the Ural metallurgical plants. In 1817 the first steamships, built from Sobolevskii’s plans, appeared on the Volga and Kama rivers. Beginning in 1824, he directed the construction of the combined laboratory of the Cadet School of Mining and the Department of Mining and Salt Production in St. Petersburg; he became head of the laboratory in 1826.

Having laid the basis for powder metallurgy, in 1826, working with V. V. Liubarskii, Sobolevskii developed the technology for obtaining ductile platinum and fabricated platinum items. In 1828, under his direction, the world’s first platinum coins were minted. In 1829, Sobolevskii developed and introduced at the mint an original method for the affinage of “golden silver.” In 1830 he improved the hot-blast process in blast furnaces. In collaboration with other scientists, he helped develop a new Russian system of chemical nomenclature (Short Review of Chemical Names), which was approved by the Academy of Sciences in 1835. From 1832 to 1841, Sobolevskii was permanent secretary of the Free Economic Society.


“Ob ochishchenii i obrabotke syroi platiny.” Gornyi zhurnal, 1827, book 4.
“Ob uspekhakh obrabotki platiny.” Gornyi zhurnal, 1829, part 2, book 5.


Plotkin, S. Ia. P. G. Sobolevskii. Moscow, 1966 (Bibliography.)


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