Boris Bakhmeteff

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Boris Alexandrovich Bakhmeteff
Boris Bakhmetev.jpg
Born (1880-05-14)May 14, 1880
Tbilisi, Georgia
Died July 21, 1951(1951-07-21) (aged 71)
Brookfield, Connecticut
Cause of death Heart attack

Boris Alexandrovich Bakhmeteff (Russian: Борис Александрович Бахметев) (also spelled Bakhmetieff or Bakhmetev) (May 14, 1880 – July 21, 1951) was an engineer, businessman, professor of civil engineering at Columbia University and the only ambassador of the Russian Provisional Government to the United States.[1] He was unrelated to his predecessor as ambassador, George Bakhmeteff.[2]


He was born on May 14, 1880 in Tbilisi, Georgia. He married Helen on July 22, 1905, in Kineshma, Russia.

His wife Helen died in 1921.[3]

His position as ambassador was recognized by the United States government until his resignation in June 1922, when he established the Lion Match Company with other Russian immigrants.[1][4]

He introduced the concept of specific energy in hydraulics in his thesis and book Hydraulics of Open Channels in 1932.[5]

He married Marie C. Cole in 1938 in Duval County, Florida.

In 1947 he received the Norman Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He died on July 21, 1951, in Brookfield, Connecticut, of a heart attack.[6]


The Russian archives and a professorship of Russian at Columbia are named after him, as is a Harvard research fellowship in hydraulics.

Bakhmeteff's former residence in Washington, D.C.

Boris Bakhmeteff was also on the Board of Directors for the Tolstoy Foundation Center in Valley Cottage, New York.


  • Boris Aleksandrovich Bakhmateff, Hydraulics of Open Channels (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1932)
  • Boris Aleksandrovich Bakhmateff, The Mechanics of Turbulent Flow (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1941)


  1. ^ a b Oleg Budnitskii (September 2003). "Boris Bakhmeteff's Intellectual Legacy in American and Russian Collections". Slavic & East European Information Resources. 4 (4): 5–12. doi:10.1300/J167v04n04_02. Jared S. Ingersoll; Tanya Chebotarev (2003). Russian and East European books and manuscripts in the United States: Proceedings of a Conference in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture. New York: Haworth Information Press. pp. 5–12. ISBN 0-7890-2405-5. 
  2. ^ "Plans Of Bakhmetieff. New Russian Envoy's Stay Is Only To Be Temporary" (PDF). New York Times. June 8, 1917. 
  3. ^ "Mme. Bakhmeteff, Wife of Russian Envoy Dies of Heart Disease in Owego". New York Times. July 25, 1921. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ James E. Hassell (1991). Russian Refugees in France and the United States Between the World Wars. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. p. 33. ISBN 0-87169-817-X. 
  5. ^ Kay, Melvyn (2008). Practical Hydraulics. Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis. p. 150. ISBN 0-415-35115-4. 
  6. ^ "Boris Bakhmeteff Of Columbia Dead. Professor of Civil Engineering Since 1931. Was Kerensky Regime's Envoy to U.S.". New York Times. July 22, 1951. Retrieved August 1, 2009. Dr. Boris A. Bakhmeteff, who was Russian Ambassador to the United States during the Kerensky regime, and since 1931 had been Professor of Civil Engineering at Columbia University, died yesterday morning of a heart attack at his home in Brookfield, Conn. He was 71 years old. 

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