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September 14, 2021 11:01 am

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The department stores documents related to the name of an outstanding inventor.

The Main Archive Fund of Moscow contains documents related to the name of the outstanding inventor, one of the initiators of the creation of the electrotechnical department of the Russian Technical Society and the magazine “Electricity” Pavel Yablochkov. For many, his name is associated with the history of street lighting in the city.

Pavel Yablochkov was born on September 14 (according to the old style – September 2), 1847 in Serdobsk, Saratov province. From an early age, the boy showed interest in design and technical work. Having received a home education, the young man entered the Saratov men’s gymnasium, but did not graduate from it, since his father took him from the gymnasium and assigned him to the Preparatory boarding school for military engineer and composer Caesar Cui in St. Petersburg. Studying at the boarding house prepared Yablochkov for successful admission to the Nikolaev Engineering School, which he graduated in 1866 with the rank of Lieutenant Engineer. After a while, Pavel Yablochkov became a student at the Technical Electroplating Institution for Officers in Kronstadt, the only institution at that time where military electrical engineers were trained.

In 1871, after military service, Yablochkov moved to Moscow. He began to study different types of arc lamps, conducted many experiments and organized his own enterprise – a laboratory-workshop for physical instruments, where he did research and received clients. However, such a business did not bring profit, and Pavel Yablochkov left for Paris in 1875.

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A year later, in France, an electrical engineer completed the development of his most outstanding invention – the arc lamp without a regulator. Thanks to the Yablochkov electric candle, the first electric lighting system appeared. Then this phenomenon was given the name “Russian light” and began to be used everywhere. The streets of Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Vienna and many other cities of the world were lit by Yablochkov’s candles.

Many Muscovites then wanted to have electric lighting in their homes according to the Yablochkov system. For this, it was required to build special premises in the central districts of the city with a machine necessary to excite the current. Therefore, on March 23, 1880, Pavel Yablochkov turned to the Moscow City Council with a proposal to light the Theater Square with lanterns for free and put two lanterns in front of the future premises of the City Council. In return, the scientist asked the city to lease a plot of land free from development between the Kitaygorodskaya wall and the Chelyshevskaya baths for 12 years in order to install special equipment for supplying current there.

The Glavarkhiv has preserved the correspondence of the city authorities considering the scientist’s application and the organization of electric lighting in the city. Agreeing that the place for the installation of the cars was chosen correctly, and the new lighting would be more profitable than flowing gas, the Moscow City Duma laid the foundation for electric lighting in the city.

On April 20 (according to the old style – April 8), 1880, Pavel Yablochkov received for 12 years a plot of land of 120 square fathoms on Teatralnaya Square, between the Chinese Wall and the ledge of Chelyshev’s house for the construction of a building to house steam and electric machines. Since then, the city’s electric lighting system has begun to develop in Moscow.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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