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  Iosif Bolzani

  Bolzani Iosif Antonovich was born in Berlin on September 18, 1818. His
  father was an Italian who lodged in Berlin where started a confectioner's
  shop; he intended his son Iosif-Fortunat to trading activity. Iosif had
  ability of fast studying of languages, on reaching 20-year age, he could
  speak French, German, English and Italian; subsequently he learnt also
  Russian which spoke almost as a Russian. Trading house Daziaro sent him to
  Russia where he was attributed to the Nizhny Novgorod petty-bourgeois
  society and traded in different cities on the Volga river in notes and
  pictures. Young Bolzani learnt arithmetics, but he did not know anything
  else in mathematics when he was 23 years old.
  As good luck would have it, scientists A.F.Popov and N.I.Lobachevsky paid
  attention to abilities of the street dealer. At the end of 1842 Bolzani was
  appointed a supervisor in the first Kazan grammar school, and less than in 2
  years he was successfully examined, and after that he got the university
  degree of the candidate of mathematical sciences
  In 1853 circumstances finally compelled him to pass from occupation in
  pure mathematics to occupation in physics to which he did not feel a real
  In 1860 Bolzani was appointed an ordinary professor, and in 1863 the dean
  of physical and mathematical faculty in Kazan.
  Bolzani was seriously engaged in studying of physics, improvement of
  physical study and meteorological observatory, repeatedly was abroad where
  visited the best studies and observatories, purchased necessary tools for
  the Kazan university, verified meteorological devices, arranged in physical
  study devices for new experiences.
  Mathematics, physics, naturalists, physicians - all addressed to Bolzani
  with questions, for information and advice; he was the general adviser.
  Bolzani was in St. Petersburg several times and left the most favorable
  impression about himself in the scientific society, However, in conclusion
  it is left to regret, that Bolzani couldn't give all his mind to pure
  mathematics in which he, certainly, should have gone so far.
  Bolzani left, as says his biographer, a precious library of scientific
  books which he purchased spending half of his poor money resources.

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