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ArticleName History of mining engineering at the Alexandrovsky Cannon Factory (based on the publications in the Gornyi Zhurnal in 1825–1845)
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2022.07.19
ArticleAuthor Kameneva E. E., Kamenev E. V.

Petrozavodsk State University, Petrozavodsk, Russia:

E. E. Kameneva, Head of Department, Candidate of Engineering Sciences
E. V. Kamenev, Associate Professor, Candidate of Historical Sciences,


The aim of this study is to determine the level of scientific knowledge of the specialists of the Alexandrovsky Cannon Factory in the field of geology, mining and metallurgy in the first half of the 19th century. The study is based on the materials published in the Gornyi Zhurnal in 1820–1845. It is shown that the success of metallurgy at the Aleksandrovsky Factory was due not only to the accumulated long-term experience in the production of cast iron from local lake ores, but also to the improvement of technologies based on scientific knowledge. A hypothesis of the formation of lake ores was formulated. This hypothesis is generally consistent with modern theory. The influence of the composition of ores on the quality of cast iron was analyzed. On this basis, practical conclusions about the advisability of obtaining cast iron of various grades were made. At the same time, the knowledge of the specialists of the Alexandrovsky Factory in the field of geology, mining and metallurgy was mainly descriptive. Examples of theoretical understanding of the accumulated information are rare in the articles. The description of mineralogy and metallurgical process was characterized by a qualitative rather than a quantitative approach. This approach is generally untypical for science. The reason for that state of affairs was the poor development of theoretical foundations, laboratory facilities and analytical methods. In addition, the scientific terminology was poorly developed – to describe ores, the authors used ordinary language and resorted to analogies. In addition, the scientific terminology was underdeveloped as the authors used ordinary language to characterize ore. All of this negatively affected the precision of scientific knowledge.

keywords Alexandrovsky Cannon Factory, cast iron production, history of mining, iron ore processing

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