Vulcan 06 Hammer: Specifications and Information

The 06 hammer is basically a #1 hammer with a 6,500 lb. ram.  It uses the same leaders and driving accessories.  A general arrangement of a “standard” 06 is shown above; others are below.

Specifications for the Vulcan 06 are below.

In the late 1970’s Vulcan made an important change to the 06.  The original 06 used a steel ram which was deeper (fore and aft) than the #1’s cast-iron ram.  The revised 06 used a taller, cast iron ram with the same depth as the #1.  This is important when ordering parts.  The taller configuration was carried over to the 5′ stroke Vulcan 506.

Below: Vulcan 06 (with the long ram) driving piles from Vulcan Foundation Equipment’s excavator mast.

Other information:


Vulcan #1 Hammer: Specifications and Information

The #1 is, in many ways, the “flagship” of the line.  Produced from the  beginning of the Warrington-Vulcan hammers, it was and is a popular hammer.  The last Chicago general arrangement is above; other general arrangements are below.

Various versions of the specifications for the #1 are shown below.

Other information about the #1:

Who’s this idiot? That’s me!

Our family business’ first trip to the then Soviet Union was an interesting experience. Our objective was to sell the Soviets (as they were called then) our offshore pile driving equipment for their offshore oil production work. Their idea was to get us to sell their diesel pile driving equipment and other Soviet technology in the U.S. (We eventually got there, but that’s another story altogether.

zagorsk1Needless to say, this was a recipe for confusion. One good thing that came out of it was our visit to the Monastery of Trinity-St. Sergius in Zagorsk, the administrative centre of the Russian Orthodox Church.

We did finally meet with the offshore oil people. It was strange too; when the babushka receptionist asked where we were from and we told them we were from the U.S., she jolted upward in her seat and exclaimed, “Oh, my God!” (this in an atheist state!)

Finally we had our closing meeting with our Soviet counterparts. This was during the age of perestroika, which simply means restructuring. This ministry was doing its own shuffle, so the chief negotiator unfurled the new organisation chart for the ministry. He spent a great deal of time going through everyone’s new title and position. Our agent got impatient with this presentation, so he thrust his finger at the centre of the chart and demanded, “Who’s this idiot?”

“That’s me!” the answer came back.

It doesn’t take being in a socialist organisation to make us feel that we’re “lost in the shuffle,” just another cog in the machine or just another “idiot” working in an structure that neither knows or cares whether we stay or leave. We get to the point where we look at ourselves and life in general in this way.

But that wasn’t God’s plan for us. We have a God who loves and cares for us, who created us and had a purpose for us from the beginning (“negative infinity,” as we say here.) Just because others who have their own purposes–if they have any clear objective at all–try to define us as part of their machine doesn’t mean that the God of the universe agrees with their assessment. He does not and neither should we. If we make him first in our lives, we will find his purpose for us and then we will never again be “this idiot.”

For more information click here.

Vulcan #2 Hammer: Specifications and Information

The #2 was one of the earliest “Warrington-Vulcan” single-acting hammers to be produced.  The first one was S/N 6, made for the Marquette, Houghton and Ontonagon Railroad Company.  The general arrangement for the hammer is above.

The first extant layout of the Vulcan #2 Hammer, dated 9 February 1887. It’s probably the first extant layout of the Warrington-Vulcan hammer. Until about World War I, it was common practice for Vulcan to lay out the general arrangement and then the shop produce the hammer from just that drawing. It’s an indication of both the skill and the decision making ability of those actually producing the product, and also probably of the involvement of those doing the design work.

Specification Sheets for this hammer are as follows:

Specifications Bulletin 68
Specifications, Vulcan Bulletin 68
Specifications Bulletin 68G
Specifications, Vulcan Bulletin 68G
Specifications Bulletin 68K
Specifications, Vulcan Bulletin 68K

The #2 was very popular for a long time; however, it ran into two difficulties from the 1960’s onwards.

The first was that pile specifications were calling for a larger hammer (such as the #1) and contractors found their #2 hammers sitting in the yard with little to do.

tn2ramThe second, from Vulcan’s standpoint, is that the production costs of the #2 were not much less than the #1.  When Vulcan produced a #2 for the State of Tennessee in the early 1990’s, it simply took the #1 frame and put a 3,000 lb. ram in it.  Since the stroke was longer, more energy was available.

Other information:

The Information Vulcan Requested for Driving Accessory Purchases

Below is a sheet showing the recommendations Vulcan made to its distributors in gathering information for driving accessories.

Sales Aid Information Sheet Driving Accessories

Driving accessory orders were (and are) generally custom orders; knowing this type of information made it easier for Vulcan and its distributors to fulfil their customers’ requirements.  This sheet dates from the mid-1960’s, after the executive office moved to West Palm Beach, FL.

A pedestal driving head, on the floor at the Chattanooga Facility.

Note: in this era pedestal driving heads (right) were a popular item.  Casting difficulties, however, made them increasingly difficult to manufacture, and by the early 1980’s Vulcan was out of the business of pedestal driving heads.  The replacement for these is two pieces, one to mate to the hammer and one to the cap, between them a piece of (usually) pipe.



He is Prepared to Sign Anything

Concrete Pile CutterOne of the most complicated transactions I have ever been involved in during my years at Vulcan was the purchase of the patent rights for a Russian concrete pile cutter (shown at left.) The patent had around a dozen inventors and two research institutes, spread out from Moscow to Vladivostok. The sheer logistics of getting everyone to agree to this, to say nothing of the financial considerations, made it a daunting task.

After six years of work on it we had actually made quite a lot of progress, but the Deputy Director General of the main research institute was trying to hold out for more money. Since the market for these things is pretty limited, we had to be careful.

At this point the Russian government sponsored a Russian technology exposition in Washington, DC, and the institute was one of the exhibitors. They sent their Director General; we thought it would be a good time to make some progress without the expense of another trip to Russia. So I went to Washington, was met by my translator, and we set out to have a meeting with the Director General.

On the way we stopped by the hotel room which the institute’s people were using as a headquarters. It was a mess; clothing and trash were piled everywhere, vodka bottles being the most prominent. Evidently these people were having quite a time during their trip to America.

We got to the exhibit hall and managed to pull the Director General aside for a meeting on the patent. In preparation for this meeting, I had prepared a “protocol” (we usually call it a “letter of intent” in the U.S.) which outlined what was for us an initial negotiating position. So I presented this and asked the Director General what he was prepared to sign to conclude this agreement.

At that, my translator looked me straight in the eye and said, “He is prepared to sign anything.” Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for this; I was used to a lot more “horse trading” in negotiations, particularly with people outside the U.S. But sure enough, he was; he signed the protocol. Back in Moscow, his deputy was enraged at this, but there was nothing he could do; the negotiations were completed and we obtained the patent assignment.

We live in an age where people are said to be deceived by all kinds of “isms”: moral relativism, secular humanism, post-modernism, and the like. But having been in the real world for too long, I like to look at things a little differently. The problem with people today is that, after years of excessively rapid upward social mobility, blistering technological change, and relentless manipulation by those who own and operate the society, they are, like our Director General, prepared to sign anything, to go along with anything so long as their lives go on as they have, no matter what the long term cost is to themselves.

“For a time will come when people will not tolerate sound teaching. They will follow their own wishes, and, in their itching for novelty, procure themselves a crowd of teachers. They will turn a deaf ear to the Truth, and give their attention to legends instead.” (2 Tim 4:3-4) This is where we’re at, with the disintegrating families, eroding human rights, and the growing consumer debt which is turning a society of owners into a society of renters, at the whim of those who control the financial destiny of the nation. Christianity, which takes a definite stand on many issues, is looked on with hostility as a menace to the stability of this house of cards, proclaiming as it does an ultimate authority beyond the state.

But there’s always a payoff of some kind in the end. Our Russian inventors and institutes were paid off in U.S. dollars, a valuable commodity in Russia in those days. Those who sign with the rulers of this world have another payoff altogether: “The wages of Sin are Death, but the gift of God is Immortal Life, through union with Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) It’s your choice. Are you prepared to sign anything?

Partying Like It’s 1987: Running WEAP87 and SPILE (and other programs) on DOSBox

It’s been a long time since many computers ran DOS or even Windows 3.1.  Given the changes in hardware, it would be difficult to get most any recent PC to run one or both.  Yet every time we have a major software upgrade, we lose some of the capabilities we had in the past.  It’s something we don’t think about in the advance of computer power, but it’s a fact.

That’s more true in two fields than any other: business and scientific/engineering software.  Ever wonder why businesses and medical establishments, for example, still run Windows XP or 7 so often?  With engineering software, it’s even worse: there are still DOS programs which do things that more recent software either does not do or does very expensively (the “per seat” cost of programs like AutoCad and most commercial finite element software, would shock most people outside of the field).

This article concentrates on two venerable pieces of DOS software: WEAP87, the wave equation program to analyse driven piles during installation, and SPILE, which estimates axial driven pile capacity.  As long as XP “ruled the roost” and was capable of running 16-bit software, it was certainly possible to run both and other DOS and Windows 3.1 packages.  With the creeping advance of Windows 7 and 8 (Vista wasn’t an advance) and 64-bit software, it’s become impossible to run these programs.  So we’re stuck with two choices: either forget about using them or purchase expensive wave equation software.  The latter option is OK if you use it all the time, but for occasional use (and when WEAP87 was perfectly adequate for your needs) it doesn’t make sense.  But what is to be done?

The solution to the problem for this and other DOS program requirements is DOSBox, an x86 emulator that runs DOS on a variety of platforms, including 32-bit Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.  The purpose of this article is to give an overview of DOSBox, some tips about its installation, how to set up WEAP87 and SPILE on DOSBox, and a quick look into Windows 3.1 on DOSBox.

About DOSBox

DOSBox is first an emulator for DOS games.  That may look like an odd platform for running a scientific/engineering application with WEAP87, but it actually works well.  Games have been a driving force in pushing local computer power forward.  Behind the graphics and interaction are some very complex mathematics, and running those in “real-time” has been a challenge of gaming computers from the very start.

DOS gaming for its part is the classic example of taking lemons and making lemonade.  Most DOS applications were text-based running on poor graphic standards such as CGA and EGA; it wasn’t until 800 x 600 VGA (or the venerable B&W Hercules standard) when graphics really began to look realistic.  The operating system itself came with few integral interfaces other than the screen and keyboard; no common graphical interface like the Mac, no mouse or joystick drivers in the early versions, and the math coprocessor was optional until the “486” processors.  It forced DOS gamers to write the visual output directly to the screen.  They took up the challenge with zeal and DOS games squeezed every bit of output from the computer it was capable of.

With the advent of Windows 3.0/3.1/3.11 and certainly of 95, many of the routines that had to be written for the software specifically became part of the operating system.  Unfortunately that, combined with the system overhead of the OS, slowed down games, which meant that Windows games lagged for a while until the hardware caught up with them.  (The system overhead of Windows is still significant, something that anyone who has ventured outside of the Windows world will attest).  Thus DOS gaming was something of a “golden age” and DOSBox was designed to recapture that golden age on computers that were no longer capable of running them.

Running Non-Gaming Applications on DOSBox

That having been said, DOSBox’s developers have traditionally discouraged non-gaming applications from DOSBox.  For one thing, DOSBox lacks many of the facilities that non-gaming applications often need, such as printing (not an issue with either one of these programs, as they put out text files) and many of the DOS features (which are missing because of patent and copyright issues in many cases).  There’s also the issue of emulation; no two computers do digital calculations the same, and that especially applies to an “operating system” which was primarily designed for gaming.

The reason programs like WEAP87 and SPILE can be considered for DOSBox is because they’re batch mode programs.  You put data in, you process the data, you get a result out, that’s it.  Programs which need long-term interaction with the data may not do so hot in DOSBox.  I would also avoid running the programs on non-x86 platforms because of math coprocessor issues.

What You’ll Need

To run WEAP87 and SPILE on DOSBox, you’ll need the following:

  1. WEAP87 and SPILE themselves, which can be found here.
  2. The printed manual for WEAP87.  Programs in the 1980’s came with printed manuals; online help wasn’t an option except for very basic commands.
  3. SPILE doesn’t have a printed manual available, but the second volume of the FHWA Soils and Foundations Manual has a good description of the underlying theory behind SPILE and its Windows successor, Driven.
  4. MCF, a TSR to aid in file management and program running.  Especially useful with WEAP87 as you run one program to input/preprocess the data and another to actually run the analysis.  Unlike many TSR programs designed for this purpose, MCF is very light on system resources.
  5. DOSBox, for whatever operating system you’re using.

Basic Setup

Setting up DOSBox (the first step) is pretty simple.  Open-source packages are notoriously deficient in understandable documentation, but DOSBox has been around for a long time, and seems better than average.  I would strongly urge you to check out their wiki for the information you need on installation and running.

One thing you definitely need to do is to set up a “C” drive.  DOSBox starts out with a “Z” drive with its basic programs to run.  The process is described here.  One big advantage of this over, say, a virtual machine is that you’re using the same file system for the emulator as you are for the host computer.  This means that you can open the data results in either a text editor or do a screen grab of the graphics.

Once you’ve done that, the easiest way to get the programs going is to do the following:

  1. Unpack MCF and put it in the root directory of the C drive (c:\).
  2. Create a directory c:\WEAP87 and put the WEAP 87 files in it.
  3. Create a director c:\SPILE and put the SPILE files in it.  It’s better to use two separate directories to avoid file name conflicts.

And that’s it.

Running SPILE and WEAP87

If you’ve run these programs on, say, Windows XP, running them on DOSBox–either directly from the command line or from MCF–is a familiar experence.  If you used either or both in the DOS era, it’s a trip down memory lane–down to the pace the computer runs the programs.  That’s because DOSBox deliberately slows down the pace of execution to simulate a DOS-era computer, and thus (for games where it’s critical) the timing of the game isn’t thrown off by faster execution speeds.  For either of these programs, it isn’t a big deal, and in any case DOSBox will “pick up the pace” for really processor intensive programs.  But after watching the output of WEAP87 in particular whiz by, seeing it going more slowly brings back memories.


SPILE is pretty straightforward, since there’s only one executable file.  The one thing you need to watch for is not to print out the output; just save it to a file.  If using the output for WEAP87, many engineers prefer to estimate the pile capacity using a spreadsheet and other methods.


WEAP87 is a little more complicated because the preprocessing file and the file that actually executes the wave equation analysis are different.  But other than that there is little difference between using it in DOSBox and elsewhere.  The governing data files can be edited either with MCF or with another text editor, and the text output can be done likewise.  One thing that comes back in DOSBox is shown above: the graphical bearing graph, in all of its CGA glory.  I’m not sure you want to put it into a report, but it’s good to have in any case.

Other DOS Programs

I’ve also tried other DOS engineering programs in DOSBox with success, including finite element analysis.  The ability to preserve the graphics using a screen grab program is a big plus (see below.)  These programs, however, like WEAP87 put their output in a text file, which can then be edited by either a text editor or a word processor.  Again a big advantage of DOSBox is that the file system for the program is accessible by the host operating system, which means that you can keep files generated by DOS programs and other data (such as soil boring data, for example, with SPILE and WEAP87) together.

A screen shot from DesignCAD 4 for DOS, showing the hydraulic schematic for the Vulcan 2800 vibratory hammer. Given the limitations of DOS and the computers they ran on, the results that DesignCAD produced were amazing. Additionally DesignCAD did fine with just a keyboard, a mouse and a standard graphics card, obviating the need for additional hardware such as digitising pads.

Another interesting program in DosBOX is CFRAME, the Corps of Engineers’ structural finite element analysis program.  It was used in preparing the book Sheet Pile Design by Pile Buck.  Here are some screen shots showing its graphical output:

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Windows 3.1


Since Windows 3.1 was basically run on top of DOS, and 16-bit software (including software written for 3.1) is becoming out of bounds for newer Windows machines, the obvious question is, “Can DOSBox run Windows 3.1”?  Having a legal copy of Windows 3.11 for Workgroups, I gave it a shot, with tremendous help from this post in DOSBox’s forum

Although I haven’t spent much time with it, the short answer is “to some extent”.  DOSBox allocates enough extended and expanded memory to run it.  There are some obstacles, however, not the least of which is that DOSBox doesn’t contain a full copy of DOS, but simulates DOS 5.0.  It thus lacks the key file for full Windows functionality: SHARE.EXE.  If you can get this file and get it running, that will probably change.  But I’ve gotten further with this approach than, say, setting up a virtual machine.  (Any virtual machine I’ve seen for DOS or Windows 3.1 is challenged in accessing files outside of the virtual machine).

Since I’ve spent time on SPILE, I’ll mention that the version of Driven (the Windows successor to SPILE) I offer for download is a 32-bit version and thus won’t run on Windows 3.1 without the 32-bit upgrade (which, in turn, requires SHARE.EXE).  A 16-bit version was developed but at this point I don’t have it available.

The Wrap

DOSBox is a tremendous help in using DOS (and to a lesser extent Windows 3.1) programs on current machines and operating systems.  I would strongly urge anyone who wants to try this to “test drive” some of these programs to make sure the results are good.

As West Point professor J. Ledlie Klosky noted about geotechnical knowledge in general, “In this modern information age, it is hard to believe that important knowledge could simply vanish through disuse, but the sad fact is that it happens.”  That applies to software too; DOSBox is yet another weapon in our arsenal to prevent the loss of knowledge and once again fight “the creep of ignorance.”

What We Need is a Light Trailer

In 1967 Vulcan opened a fabricating facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. Across the street from our new plant was “U and Me Transfer and Storage,” (see photo above) which we hired to move a lot of our machinery. We sent one of our supervisors to Florida to help set the shop up. The shop foreman in Florida told the Tennessee man that “U and Me would move this in,” and “U and Me will deliver this tomorrow,” and so on. Finally the Tennessee man threw his hands up in exasperation and asked, “When’s You and Me going to have to time to do all this?”

The plant was formally called the “Special Products Division;” one of those special products was a light trailer, also shown above. This is useful if you want to do construction work at night; just set it up, turn on the generator, turn on the lights and work. In the U.S., with the problems of doing road construction during the day, these handy devices get a workout while crews attempt to repair or rebuild our roads at night.

560-stack-outsideBack in Chattanooga, the company’s main product line went on, which was building pile drivers, many for the offshore oil industry. These machines are most easily put together vertically; you put the base on the ground, stack the ram and the columns on top, then the cylinder, tie the hammer together, lay it down on a flat bed truck and ship it (the stacking is shown at the right.) Because the hammers got so big, we did a lot of this outside, using truck cranes.

One evening we were stacking yet another hammer for shipment. It got dark; the truck was waiting for us, there was no question of waiting until the morning. The supervisor got the light trailer out, fired it up and turned it on so the men could see what they were doing and finish up. Unfortunately the plant was in a residential area. When we turned the lights on, the residents didn’t like it, so they started shooting at the plant. Needless to say, our employees and the poor truck driver found it hard to work with bullets whizzing past them.

Most residential areas like some additional light, but there are always exceptions, and obviously this was one of them. Unfortunately many people and areas don’t like the light being shined on them–any kind of light.

“…though the Light has come into the world, men preferred the darkness to the Light, because their actions were wicked. For he who lives an evil life hates the light, and will not come to it, for fear that his actions should be exposed…” (John 3:19-20)

In a world where privacy is evaporating, people still don’t like their deeds to be known. In some cases this is due to the shifting sands of our legal systems; what is okay one day is punishable by life imprisonment the next. But much of our aversion to the light is because we know that what we are doing is wrong, legal or not. We make excuses like “I’m not a bad person,” not really understanding what that means or how it might be fixed if we are in fact a bad person. We know we are hurting others–we know we are hurting ourselves–but our main motivation is not to get caught, not to have the light shined on our deeds.

“But he who acts up to the truth comes to the light, that his actions may be shown to have been done in dependence upon God.” (John 3:21)

Our God doesn’t need to turn on his light trailer to find out what’s going on in our lives and in our selves; he has “night vision” so to speak, and he knows what we are doing even if no one else does. But he doesn’t want us to just go on in the darkness until we stumble and break our neck. “Jesus again addressed the people. ‘I am the Light of the World,’ he said. ‘He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.’” (John 8:12) It is his desire that we walk in his light and live in his love. Just as we used a light trailer to do our work outside the plant, so if we have Jesus Christ in our lives we can live as God’s child even under less than ideal circumstances.

For more information click here

Vulcan Hammers and the Gates Formula

For many years, Vulcan included Engineering News Formula charts and data in its literature.  Vulcan dropped the EN formula out of its literature in the 1970’s, for two reasons: the wave equation was in the ascendancy, and endorsement of the EN formula was an implied endorsement of the “bearing power” of the piles they drove, an endorsement which Vulcan was justifiably reluctant to make.

Nevertheless, the use of dynamic formulae persists for smaller projects and is embedded in many specifications.  For this purpose, the FHWA favours the Modified Gates Formula, and this is discussed in the latest edition of their Design and Construction of Driven Pile Foundations.  The section on the Modified Gates Formula is reproduced below:

FHWA Gates Formula Section

Gates Formula tables can be found for many Vulcan hammers can be found at the Vulcan Foundation website.

Copies of the FHWA Design and Construction of Driven Pile Foundations can be obtained by clicking on the cover images to the right.

Visit to Zagorsk

In 1988, during Vulcan’s first trip to the then Soviet Union, my brother Pem and I were given the chance to visit the Monastery of Trinity-St. Sergius, which was the administrative centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is located in the town of Sergeiev Posad, which was called Zagorsk during Soviet times. The trip was arranged by our Russian business hosts (V/O Machinoexport) and our Russian agent at the time, A.A. Titov. The article below was written 20:15:01 4/20/1988 (the day of the visit) with a few corrections in the text and updates at the end.


zagorsk1Christianity was first introduced to Russia from Byzantium (Greek Orthodox) between 860 and 867. At this time Kiev — south of the Chernobyl site — was the capital of Russia. In 957 the regent Olga was baptised in Constantinople; her grandson Vladimir made Christianity the state religion in 988. This is being celebrated this year as the 1000th anniversary of the “Baptism of Russia” and extensive celebrations are being made plans for as a result.

The Russian Orthodox Church is an Orthodox Church, and until 1448 was subordinate to the Greek Orthodox Church in Constantinople. At this time, as the Byzantine Empire was coming to an end with its conquest by the Ottoman Turks, the Russian church took the step of electing its own leader; in 1589 this leader, now residing in Moscow, took the title of Patriarch, making him in theory the equal of the Patriarch in Constantinople and also of the Pope in Rome.

In 1721 the Russian Tsar Peter the Great abolished the Patriarchate and replaced same with the Holy Synod to run the Orthodox Church. This was a council, with its head — a lay official — appointed by the Tsar. This effectively made the Orthodox Church a department of the government, a position it found itself in until the Tsar was overthrown in 1917.

With that overthrow the Church re-established the Patriarchate, but now the greater threat came of course from the Communists, who, following Marx, believe that religion of all kinds is the “opiate of the people” to dull their revolutionary drive, and which will wither away under the advance of “scientific” socialism such as their claims to be. The church’s property was nationalized and many of its clergy was jailed and killed, and parts of the church made themselves into a pro-Soviet type of church, a process that has been repeated with the Catholic Church in Nicaragua. Matters became especially desperate under Stalin, who attempted to destroy all opposition through liquidation in his purges in the 1930’s.

Matters were at their nadir when the Second World War broke out, and when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union the demoralization of the nation was so complete that Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the country. In its desperation Stalin’s war effort turned to the Orthodox Church and other Christian groups to help with the war effort, to revitalize the people for the war effort. This they did, and in return the Soviet government has granted the Orthodox Church and some other Christian groups limited freedom of existence and activity. The Orthodox Church today runs a precarious balance today; on the one hand it attempts to carry on its liturgical and spiritual activities to nurture the flock in the Orthodox faith, on the other it must to secure its existence meet Soviet regulation and to assist the Soviet government in various activities, such as the promotion of the peace movement in the West, which is a major project of the Soviet regime today.

Outline of the Trip

zagorsk2 Arrived about 1130 with Pem, Alex Titov, and Alexander Tikhanov and assistant Natasha from V/O Machinoexport. Were greeted at Monastery office.

We were first given tour by Father Alexander of several of the churches in the compound. Zagorsk is the administrative centre of the Russian Orthodox Church, founded by St. Sergius in 1337. The Orthodox complex is within the town itself, being a walled fortress, a format dictated by military considerations in past times, similar in concept to missions in our own Southwest such as the Alamo. The last time it was used for military purposes was against a siege by the Poles in the 15th century. These churches, such as the Trinity Cathedral (which contains St. Sergius’ relics), the Dormition Cathedral, the Church of the Holy Spirit, were very impressive. When not in liturgical use, these churches are the site for all kinds of devotions, such as prayers, adorations, and Bible reading, and, in the case of Trinity Cathedral, singing which has an ethereal quality beyond words to describe. Then we returned to office where we signed the guest register, and I wrote congratulations to them for the 1000th anniversary of what they call the “Baptism of Russia”.

After this, we were given tour of the seminary museum by a seminarian. This contains historical articles of the Orthodox church of all kinds and a special section on the life and work of the Patriarch Alexis, who helped bring the Orthodox Church back to life after its near extinction by Stalin. There was a scale model of a large cathedral in Moscow built to commemorate the victory over Napoleon in 1812. Titov asked what happened to it and the seminarian replied “What happened to thousands of other churches in Russia? There is a swimming pool where that one was.”

We then went to the seminary office, where we were greeted warmly by Father Vladamir Kucherjavy, Assistant Rector of the seminary, who then fed us snack. He gave us description of the work of the seminary, and in the process told that full course in seminary was a four year course followed by two year course, similar to our own BA/MA system; however, some went directly to the field after the first four years. This reminded me of our church’s internship program, so I asked Father Kucherjavy if the two were alike. He said yes, and then asked what church I belonged to. I told him that I belonged to the Church of God, that it was started in 1886, that it was the oldest Pentecostal church in North America, but that Russian Orthodox people had had the Pentecostal experience earlier. His first question was whether we were a member of the National Council of Churches or not, and I replied that we were not. I then explained that I knew about the Orthodox people because the founder of the FGBMFI, Demos Shakarian, an Armenian, had had grandparents and parents brought to it by these believers coming to Turkey from Russia. He then reminded us that this year was the 1000th anniversary; I replied that I was appreciative of this event. He said that they were more than that; they were working hard to make the actual celebration a reality this summer, including having to rebuild the seminary’s church after a disastrous fire two years ago. Having seen the restoration, I said that I was impressed with the speed of the work. He said, in effect, that I didn’t know the half of it! He went on to describe his travels in the U.S., which he makes mostly for Soviet sponsored peace groups. We then finished our session and he wished us good bye. I told him that I would tell those officials and such in our church of my visit, as I live in the denominational headquarters city and attend church with these people.

Note: the “large cathedral” was of course the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, dynamited in 1931 under Stalin. It was in fact rebuilt during the 1990’s, which I discuss in my Easter piece Rising From the Pool. I did present this account to Church of God officials; the church eventually established a legal presence in Russia which it has to the present day.