Obukhovsky Plant in St. Petersburg is a legend of Russian industry. This enterprise had propelled Russia to the leaders in the field of naval artillery. It was probably the first in Russia to be named in honor of chief technologist and engineer, instead of owner. Starting from the age of 6, Pavel would make the drawings of dykes, forging hammers and horns. Later, he entered the St. Petersburg Institute of Mining Engineers and graduated from it with golden medal. Then Obukhov studied in Germany and Belgium. After that, he was appointed the director at Kushvinsky Plant. It was there that the engineer started implementing his lifetime project – producing steel cannons for Russian army. To do that, he continued the legacy of outstanding metallurgist Pavel Anosov, who had cracked the secret of damask steel. Having added magnetic iron ore to the so-called unfinished steel, Obukhov obtained a steel plate, which outstripped the existing alloys in strength during tests, moreover, being twice thinner. The first experiments with cannons were made on rifle barrels. The tests were simple: the dose of powder was increased both in the tested and reference barrels. The Russian engineers competed with Krupp, the greatest authority of steel-making industry at that time. The eight-fold powder charge would make Krupp’s rifles break into pieces, while Russian ones would stand even 14-fold one. This is how Russia obtained durable and reliable artillery of its own. Later, Pavel Obukhov moved to Saint Petersburg and started building a plant for making steel cannons. Along with the state capital, private one was involved. The work was entrusted to Obukhov’s Partnership comprising the metallurgist himself, industrialist Nikolay Putilov and merchant Sergey Kudryavtsev. On Putilov’s suggestion, the enterprise was named in honor of Obukhov. The plant was put into operation four years later and started showing a profit four more years later. As for the Russian Navy, it has got the best naval ordnance in the world.
On November 11, 1820, engineer-metallurgist Pavel Obukhov was born