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Universal History

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Hyperboloid Tower Built by Russian Engineer Shukhov Sentenced to be Shot «Conditionally»
B.S. Gorobets

One of the greatest Russian engineers of the beginning of the XX centuary, Vladimir Shukhov was the discoverer of oil cracking, computed the feasible construction of long bulk-oil barge, worked out the theory of oil pipelines, proposed original construction of steam boiler, he built bridges and viaducts. But the most beautiful constructions of his are steel net-worked covers of giant roofs, platforms and towers. In Moscow, one of the finest and highest constructions is Shukhov Tower (Shabolovka street). It is piled by six sections of hyperboloids of one sheet. As it is known such a hyperboloid has an unobvious property: some straight lines (steel beams, in the case) can be situated on the surface of hyperboloid in such a way, that all the points of the beam belong to the hyperboloid surface. Hereafter, these steel beams need no to be curved, their length and mass are minimal, as well as their costs. Much simpler and cheaper are the process of building of the tower in whole. Nevertheless, in 1921, an accident took place when a minor section mounted on the earth, felt down, when a rope breaked in process of lifting through the bigger sections. The tower was partly destroyed. Shukhov was sentenced to be shot, but conditionally, i.e. with delay. After the building was over and radio broadcasting commenced its propaganda on behalf of ‘Komintern” the sentence was abolished.

Keywords. Vladimir Shukhov, Shukhov tower, hyperboloid of one sheet.

Contacts: E-mail: bgorobets@rambler.ru

Pp. 64-71.

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