Fyodor Pirotsky
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Fyodor Apollonovich Pirotsky ( ukr, Федір Аполлонович Піроцький; russian: Фёдор Аполлонович Пироцкий; - ) was a
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...

Ukrainian
engineer and inventor of the world's first
railway electrification system (the "Skokie Swift"), shown shortly before the conversion to third rail operation in September 2004. A railway electrification system supplies electric power Electric power is the rate, per unit time, at which electrical energy is transferre ...

railway electrification system
and
electric tram Image:Hw lh.jpg, Preserved Linke-Hofmann-Busch tram, in Trams in Kraków, Kraków, Poland A tram (in North America streetcar or trolley) is a railroad car, rail vehicle that runs on tramway track public urban streets; some include segments ...
who lived in the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
. While the commercialization of his inventions in the Russian Empire was relatively slow, Pirotsky is known to have met with
Carl Heinrich von Siemens Carl Heinrich von Siemens Carl Heinrich von Siemens (often just Carl von Siemens) (3 March 1829 in Menzendorf, Mecklenburg Mecklenburg (; nds, label=Mecklenburgisch dialect, Low German, Mękel(n)borg ) is a historical region in northern Germa ...

Carl Heinrich von Siemens
and influenced Siemens' eventual introduction of the first regular electric tram line (for the Berlin Straßenbahn).


Biography

Pirotsky was born into the family of a military physician in Lokhvytsia Uezd of Poltava Gubernia, Ukraine (which at that time was part of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
). His family was of Zaporozhian Cossacks, Ukrainian Cossack ancestry. Pirotsky received his education at Saint Petersburg, where he graduated from the Konstantin Cadet Corps (Konstantinovskiy Kadetskiy Korpus) and Mikhail Artillery School in 1866, and served in Kyiv with the Fortress Artillery. While stationed in Kyiv Pirotsky became a friend of the famous Russian electrical engineer Pavel Yablochkov and an enthusiast for applications of electrical energy.


Work

In 1871, Pirotsky moved back to Saint Petersburg, where among other things he proposed a new type of blast furnace. In 1874, he started experiments on Volkov Field in Saint Petersburg and in 1875 put electrically powered railway cars on the Sestroretsks railway Miller's line (not far from the station Miller's pier). The electricity was transferred over a distance of approximately one kilometer. In his design rails were connected to a Zénobe Gramme, Gramme generator. Both rails were isolated from the ground, one rail served as a direct conductor and one as a reverse conductor. In 1880, he modified a city two-decker horse tramway to be powered by electricity instead of horses, and on the unusual form of public transport started to serve residents of Saint Petersburg amid the vocal protests of the owners of the horse-cars. The experiments continued until the end of September 1880. Some historians claim that this was the first electric tram in the world. Pirotsky did not have the money to continue his experiments, but his works stirred interest in electric trams around the world. Among people who met Pirotsky was
Carl Heinrich von Siemens Carl Heinrich von Siemens Carl Heinrich von Siemens (often just Carl von Siemens) (3 March 1829 in Menzendorf, Mecklenburg Mecklenburg (; nds, label=Mecklenburgisch dialect, Low German, Mękel(n)borg ) is a historical region in northern Germa ...

Carl Heinrich von Siemens
who was very interested and asked many questions. In 1881 the brothers Siemens started producing their own design of electric trams commercially. The first permanent electric tram line using Siemens tram cars was opened in Berlin in 1881 and the first permanent tram line in the Russian Empire was opened in Kyiv in 1892. Pirotsky continued to serve as an artillery officer of the Imperial Russian Army. Among other things he installed the first underground electric cable in Saint Petersburg to transfer electricity from a cannon foundry to the Artillery School (1881). He also was the author of a project for centralizing the city's electricity production using underground cables, he proposed new constructions of blast furnaces and bakery ovens. In 1888 he retired with the rank of colonel, lived on his military pension in the town of Oleshky (currently in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine) and died in 1898. Since no money was found on him when he died, the burial was paid for by a credit secured by the colonel's furniture.


Sources

*Belkind L. D., Konfederatov I. Ya., Shneyberg Ya. A. (Белькинд Л. Д., Конфедератов И. Я., Шнейберг Я. А.), ''История техники, М.— Л. (History of Engineering, Moscow-Leningrad)'', 1956 .


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Pirotsky, Fyodor 1845 births 1898 deaths People from Lokhvytsia Raion People from Poltava Governorate Engineers of the Russian Empire Inventors of the Russian Empire People of the Russian Empire in rail transport Sustainable transport pioneers 19th-century Russian military personnel