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British Industrial History

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Abouchoff Works

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Abouchoff Iron, Steel and Ordnance Works

near St. Petersburg, Russia

The Works 1863-1870

Established c.1863 by Messrs Poutiloff, Koudriafzeff, and Paul Abouchoff, to produce cast steel.
Note: See alternative spellings under 'Obukhov Works' below.

1864 The foundry, forge and turnery started to produce ordnance and other high quality steel products.

1866 35-ton steam hammer installed. By 1870 this was being uprated to 50 tons, with an anvil weighing 430 tons (in four pieces, cast nearby).

After 1867 hooped gun barrels were produced.

The Director was Captain, later Admiral Kolokoltzoff.

Russian and Finnish pig iron was used. Charcoal was used as the fuel. The puddling furnaces were heated by dried fir wood. Firebricks and crucibles were produced on site, using clay from Borovichy. 1200 crucibles per day could be produced.

The new turnery had one 30-ton overhead crane, and two 3-ton cranes on lower rails. They could be worked by hand or by endless wire rope (3/8" dia wire travelling at 4 mph).

The above information is condensed from 'The Engineer' of 1870, which examined the works and the results of gun firing tests in some detail [1] [2]

Obukhov Works

Evidently the name Abouchoff was an anglicized alternative to Obukhov. This is confirmed by the following information from a Russian source[3]:-

The factory was founded by Pavel Obukhov, Sergei Kudryavtsev and Nikolai Putilov as a steel foundry in 1863. It was renamed the Obukhov Factory in 1869 and acquired by the crown in 1886. It produced steel, armour plating, ordnance, steel and iron bars, crankshafts, surgical and drawing instruments, and railroad wheels and axles.

A later name was the Obukhovsky Factory (Обуховского завода). More information here. Обуховского сталелитейного завода (Obukhovskogo staleliteynogo zavoda) = Obukhov Steel Plant.

Excellent photos of parts of the steel works, including new electric arc furnaces, crane, and generators in 1908-10 here.

Photo of 75-ton Fairbairn-type dockside crane here
Photo of gun barrel lathes here
Gun barrel shop here here [4]

Photographs of surviving works buildings at Obukhovsky Steel Plant here.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] The Engineer, 12 Aug 1870
  2. [2] The Engineer, 2 Sept 1870
  3. [3] Rusartnet: Obukhov Factory
  4. [4] 'Retro View of Mankind's Habitat'