1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tomsk (town)

TOMSK, a town of Western Siberia, capital of the government of the same name, on the Tom, 27 m. above its confluence with the Ob. Pop. (1900), 63,533. Tomsk is an episcopal see and the largest city of Siberia, exceeding even Irkutsk in population and commercial importance. The great Siberian highway from Tyumen to Irkutsk passes within 54 m. (by branch railway to Taiga) of Tomsk, which is the terminus of the navigation by steamer from the Urals to Siberia. It has, moreover, communication by steamer with Barnaul and Biysk in the Altai. The town is not an administrative centre, like so many Russian cities, but an entrepot of wares. Before 1824 it was a mere village; but after the discovery of gold in the district it grew rapidly. It is built on two terraces on the right bank of the Tom, and is divided into two parts by the Ushaika. The best building is the university. The industries are almost entirely confined to tanning and the manufacture of carriages. Tomsk has a university (founded in 1888, with 600 students), and archaeological, ethnological, zoological, botanical and mineralogical museums, a technological institute, a cathedral (finished in 1900), public libraries and scientific societies, naturalist, geographical, medical, musical, &c.). The city was founded in 1604.