Pavel Petrovich Anosov. June 29 (July 10), 1796 – May 13 (25), 1851. Russian metallurgy scientist, researcher of the Southern Urals nature. Creator of Russian bulat.


Life and Work:

1. Bulat is first mentioned in the descriptions of Alexander the Great’s campaigns. In Europe, at one stage of its preparation, they used urine of a three-year-old goat, which had been fed with fern for three days. Later, the secret of its production was lost. In the last century, it was rediscovered by Pavel Petrovich Anosov, who wrote an entire book titled On the Bulats.


2. Pavel Anosov was born to become a mining engineer: his father, who died early, was a mining engineer as well. The orphaned boy and his siblings were taken in by his grandfather, his mother’s father. He also was a mining engineer, a mechanic at Kama Metal Works. A wonderful visionary and clever inventor, grandfather Sobakin took his grandson into the fabulous world of intricate machines.


3. When Pavel grew up, his grandfather sent him to St. Petersburg, to the Mining Cadet Corps. And exactly when the young Sasha Pushkin, a boy three years younger than Anosov, was studying science at the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, Pavel was grinding away at his studies on the banks of the Neva. And when the future sun of Russian poetry translated the poem Iron and Gold from French, Anosov became interested in bulat steel.


4. For Pushkin, bulat was an image, a synonym for a much more modest-sounding iron. For Anosov – the material of sabers from the Mountain Corps collection. He was truly “smitten with bulat”: he was drawn to the museum showcases like a magnet.


5. Experienced teachers invariably replied that the secret of bulat had been lost. And they did not lie. The bulat that was once brought to Europe from India via Persia, where it acquired the name “fulad,” that is, steel – the patterned bulat that cuts the thinnest gauze kerchief in the air – remained in museums only. Eastern masters had been guarding the secret of bulat for so long and so thoroughly that, finally, they completely lost it. Pavel Anosov found this secret.


6. He showed an unusual aptitude for mathematics and other higher sciences, graduated from the Mining Cadet Corps with a gold medal and was, according to the certificate, “to be assigned to the active Mining Service as an assistant with the rank of starshina [master sergeant] since August 7, 1817.” In the same June, Pushkin graduated from the lyceum and with the rank of collegiate secretary was assigned to the Collegium of Foreign Affairs.


7. Anosov did not remain an assistant, that is, a podporuchik [sub-lieutenant], at Zlatoust State Metal Works for long. Over the thirty year in Zlatoust, he climbed the career ladded up to the mining chief and at the same time the director of an arms factory in the rank of one-star general.


8. Pavel Petrovich did not forget about his youth dream. For ten years from 1828 to 1838, he pondered, searched, experimented. And he managed to create Russian cast bulat, which was not inferior to the Eastern samples – hard, flexible, sonorous. Able to cut through an iron rod and bend like a spring.


9. Anosov was the first to learn how to produce high-quality steel and the first metallurgist to systematically study the influence of various elements on steel. In other words, he laid the foundation for the metallurgy of alloy steels.


10. Pavel Petrovich is also responsible for other innovations: he was the first to use a microscope to study the steel structure, he improved the gold mill and other factory mechanisms, proposed a method for extracting gold from gold-containing sands by melting in blast furnaces, and tested this method himself.


11. Anosov took care of the health of workers under his command: at the factory he replaced the harmful mercury gilding of the blades with electroplating.


12. In 1834, for organizing the production of high-quality scythes, Anosov was elected a full member of the Moscow Society of Agriculture and awarded the gold medal of this society.


13. The indefatigable Anosov managed to make a contribution to geology as well: exploring the area around Zlatoust, he described the geological structure of this part of the Urals, as well as mineral deposits.


14. In 1847, the scientist and successful organizer of production was appointed head of the Altai Metal Works and Tomsk Civil Governor – the Altai Mining District was then part of Tomsk Province.


15. It is quite possible to say that Pavel Petrovich burned out at work. In fact, he froze: he caught a deadly cold when he went to Omsk to meet Senator Annenkov, who had been sent to Siberia to study the situation at the metal works. Anosov was buried in Omsk.


16. The orphaned family was given a state allowance: a pension for the widow and tuition for the children. By that time, only the eldest of the 9 children had graduated from the Smolny Institute. The boys studied at the Mining Engineers Corps Institute, the girls – at Smolny.


17. Anosov’s friends and acquaintances willingly donated money for erecting his tombstone monument. Despite the cemetery was removed at the 1940s, the memory of Anosov was not erased. A memorial plaque with a portrait of Anosov was installed on one of the buildings of the Kozitsky Plant, which was constructed over the former cemetery.


18. In the historical center of Zlatoust there is also a monument to Anosov. The general-major of the mining service holds a curved bulat blade; next to him there is a microscope on a stand.


19. Anosovo station of the Zlatoust-Ufa railway line is named after Pavel Petrovich. And the name of the village of Anosovo in the Shimanovsky District of the Amur Region commemorates the memory of his son, Nikolay Pavlovich, who discovered gold deposits in Amur Region.