AN informative article by V. A. Bary on “The Engineering Industry in Russia” is published in Engineering of August 15. He reminds us that until the eighteenth century, timber was the basic material of all Russian engineering works, and the skill of the carpenters who were the architects and builders of the old Russia was, and remained, of the highest standard of craftsmanship. The first Russian iron and steel industry was established in the central part of the Volga basin and in the Urals. Until the south of Russia developed its own coal and steel industry, the north was the only provider of these commodities and hence the priority of the northern carpenters among the Russian engineering trades. When the first steel tankers to carry paraffin from Baku up the Volga were built in 1880, the wooden–ship builders maintained a vigorous and for some time quite a successful rivalry, using wooden tankers ranging in displacement up to several thousand tons. Similar resistance was offered in bridge–building and other branches of structural engineering to iron and steel.