With the rise photography in the mid-19th century  as a form of fine art, humanity has an opportunity to save the important moments of its development. Looking at the old pictures we discover the cultural life of that time.

Sometimes old photos appear in the field of view as the silent witnesses of the past. So it was with this photo. It was laying for a long time in the records of the University darkroom, until it came to the State Polytechnic Museum. It should be noted that the number of photographs - picturing the original training process KPI in the  prerevolutionary period   is very small.

In this picture, there was no explanatory inscriptions. Any references on this picture in any form were absent. The first thing that catches your eye - is the backdrop against which  a group of teachers was photographed , namely - the assembly hall of the Institute with two huge portraits of Russian emperors - Alexander II and Nicholas II, which has examples of bridges details, beams, trusses and the like . This was the starting point for research.

Obviously, objects located behind the  photographed persons group are Engineers museum KPI exhibits. This museum was in the assembly hall of the Institute  starting from 1910 to August 1914 In practice, this is the only photo image of the interior of Engineers Museum, which has come to our time.

Evgen Oskarovich Paton

The extreme left in the second row in the photograph stands Evgen Oskarovich Paton - world renowned expert in the field of bridge construction, the founder of the Soviet school of welding. It's all in the future, as in the photo E.O. Paton is  presented to us at the age of 41 years. Then he was a full professor of engineering department of KPI and  in charge of the Engineering Museum (7 September 1905 - 31 May 1912).

From the foregoing, it is logical to narrow down the time period when the picture was taken, for the period 1910 - 31 May 1912

K. K. Siminsky


If you look closely and compare the images of some of those photos on their famous portraits, we can say with certainty that the second from left in the front row - Siminsky Konstantin (life years: 1879 - 1932), who was head  strength of materials  department from 1911 to 1932. K. K. Siminsky has co-authored several scientific papers Paton.

Erchenko Peter Feofanovich

Fourth from left in the front row - Erchenko Peter Feofanovich (life years: 1868 - 1927). During this time period, P.F. Erchenko was a full professor and the dean of the engineering department of mechanical department of the KPI.

V.F. Ivanov

Taking into account the existing office etiquette, we can assume that the right P.F.Erchenko sitting Vyacheslav Fedorovich Ivanov, who was then the dean of the engineering department. Unfortunately, portrait or any images  of V.F. Ivanov, which could be a comparison, did not survive.

Nicholas Kornelievich Pimonenko

It is likely that the fourth from left in the second row is  Nicholas Kornelievich Pimonenko (life years: 1862 - 1912). M.K. Pimonenko was head of the Department of Descriptive Geometry from 1900 until his death in the spring of 1912.


If we compare all the above facts, it is possible to calculate the date of photography and the event which caused the group to make a picture of  teachers and students of the KPI in those days: with high probability, it was the beginning of 1912 and a meeting on the occasion of 10th anniversary of the museum Engineering KPI.

And who could be the author of this picture? There are no  markings in its paperboard indicating the photographer's name or the name of the shop. This indicates that the photo was taken by the means of the institute. By that time, the KPI photography course was  taught  by well known photographer - artist Nikolai Petrov (life years: 1876 - 1940). Who knows, maybe the photo-artist N.A. Petrov set up the camera at this reputable company.

So an old photograph can bring us back almost 100 years. Looking at it, you can see and feel the atmosphere of respect for teachers and students to the educational process. Small wonder that in those times, students performed the actual KPI graduation projects, some of which have survived to our time. Take for example this bridge projects carried out under the supervision of E.A. Paton. They are in the collection of the State Polytechnic Museum.

 L.S.Pereligina, Senior Researcher at SPM NTUU"KPI"