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ArticleName Contribution of the Mining Institute scientists to the metallurgical industry of the Kingdom of Poland in the second half of the 19th – early 20th century: new technology and automation
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2023.04.15
ArticleAuthor Mokeev A. B.

Saint Petersburg Mining University, Saint Petersburg, Russia:

A. B. Mokeev, Associate Professor at the Department of History, Candidate of Historical Sciences, e-mail:


This paper looks at the history of the metallurgical industry of the Kingdom of Poland in the second half of the 19th – early 20th century. Special focus is on the contribution of scientists from the Saint Petersburg Mining Institute to the technological modernization of Polish metallurgical plants. The paper examines some early cases of industrial automation, which supported further optimization and deployment of these technologies at Polish metallurgical plants in the following decades. The author carried out analysis and systematization of prerevolutionary, Soviet-era and contemporary literature devoted to the history of economic development of Polish lands being part of the Russian Empire after the 1861–1905 reforms. The paper reveals the socioeconomic and political background for utilizing the industrial potential of the Western territories of the Empire. With the help of the archives, the author identified what were the key areas for training professional personnel for the metallurgical industry of the Kingdom of Poland. The paper stresses the importance of replacing foreign specialists with Russian mining engineers and the role of the Mining Institute in that process. The conducted study shows that in the second half of the 19th century the imperial government was quite efficient in utilizing the mining capacity of the Polish lands, which were among the world’s top areas for the amount of reserves and output of zinc, silver, sulphur and copper ore, and among Europe’s top areas for the amount of polymetallic reserves. It should be pointed out that in the said period the management of all the mining operations of the Kingdom of Poland was transferred from Warsaw to Saint Petersburg, which helped develop a long-term growth strategy for the region. Protectionist policy helped expedite the centralization of capital and paved the way for monopolistic trends, while the system of governmental orders, which existed at the time, stimulated the growth of metallurgical production. The objective was to lower the share of Franco-Belgian and German capital in the Polish industry. Unfortunately, the early 20th century revolution had a negative impact on the future of the Kingdom of Poland being part of the Russian Empire as many connections were lost. The production industry entered a period of decline. Soon after World War I, an independent Polish state was established. However, the contribution of Russian scientists to the growth of the Polish metallurgy was remembered about and capitalized on.

keywords Kingdom of Poland, non-ferrous metallurgy, ferrous metallurgy, coking, blast furnace process, modernization, production automation

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