July 19, 2012

Russia, 1817

The famous blind traveler Holman describes the area around Ekaterinbourg, and the estate of the extraordinary Englishman, Joseph Major.

After involvement with a number of steam-engine and pump-related projects (and a large galvanic battery, in 1801) Major had worked at the St. Petersburg Bank Mint (Cyrillic initials "O.M." on Gold 5-Rouble Coins, 1797-1800) before settling in Siberia circa 1803. He built a steam-engine for A. Knauf's copper-smelter (1804) and with with son Alexander had an enterprise for the mass-production of engines.

Gold from his property was scant, a few pounds per year, but Major certainly had familiarity with Platinum, having employed it in his various professions.

He was murdered on his estate by Gold thieves in 1833.

From/to the Urals, news to/from St. Petersburg was 17-23 days delayed.

1817: 1 Troy Ounce Fine Gold (High Cost) = 72.910 руб Banco (26.513 руб Silver) £2.89 1817: 1 Troy Oz. Fine Gold (Low Cost) = 21.873 руб Banco ( 7.954 руб Silver) ; £ 0.87

Citation: Travels through Russia, Siberia, Poland, Austria, Saxony, Prussia ..., Vol.1; James Holman (18 ) pp.


General knowledge in Russia of PGMs, c.1817

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