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Metallurgical History
ArticleName Charles Gascoigne and his activities in Karelia and the Donbass
ArticleAuthor E. S. Tarakanova

St. Petersburg, Russia:

E. S. Tarakanova, Independent Researcher, E-mail:


In 2020, the Republic of Karelia solemnly celebrates its centenary. Karelia’s birthday is considered to be June 8, 1920, when the first autonomous regional association, the Karelian Labor Commune, appeared on its territory. The history of Karelia is inseparable from the history of the development of ferrous metallurgy, which began here many centuries ago with the smelting of local swamp and lake iron ores in artisanal bloomery furnaces. At the end of the XVII - beginning of the XVIII centuries. the factories of Butenant and the Olonetskiy Petrovsky factories, producing guns, shells and handguns, played an important role in the formation of the Russian state. The most glorious page in the history of Karelian ferrous metallurgy was the time of management of the Olonetskiy mining plants by a native of Scotland, Charles Gascoigne, who headed them from 1786 to 1806. Gascoigne managed to create here one of the best iron foundries and mechanical enterprises in the world, from which new technologies spread throughout Russia. The memory of Gascoigne is carefully preserved in Karelia, and it is deeply symbolic that it is in the current anniversary year that a monument to him is being created here and the exposition of the Charles Gascoigne museum is being prepared for opening.

keywords Karelia, Charles Gascoigne, Donbass, ferrous metallurgy, foundry industry, artillery guns

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