Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Tver(1.)
TVER, a government of central Russia, on the upper Volga, bounded by Pskoff and Novgorod on the W. and N., Yarostavl and Vladimir on the E., and Moscow and Smolensk on the S.; it has an area of 25,225 square miles. Lying on the southern slope of the Valdai plateau, and intersected by deep valleys, it has the aspect of a hilly region, but is in reality a plateau ranging from 800 to 1000 feet in height. Its highest parts are in the north west, where the Volga, Western Dwina, and Msta rise in marshes and lakes. The plateau is chiefly built up of Carboniferous limestones, Lower and Upper, underlain by Devonian and Silurian deposits, which appear only in the denudations of the lower valleys. The whole is covered by a thick sheet of boulder-clay (the bottom-moraine of the Scandinavo-Russian ice-sheet) and subsequent lacustrine deposits. A number of asar (see vol. x. p. 368) occur on the slopes of the plateau. Ochre, brick, and pottery clays, as also limestone for building, are obtained, and there are chalybeate springs. The soil, which is clayey for the most part, is not fertile as a rule.
Nearly the whole of Tver is watered by the upper Volga (350 1 miles) and its tributaries, several of which (Vazuza, Dubna^Sestra, Tvertsa, and the tributaries of the Mologa) are navigable. The Vyshnevolotsk system of canals connects the Volga (navigable some 60 miles from its source) with the Baltic, and the Tikhvin system connects the Mologa with Lake Ladoga. The Msta, which flows into Lake Ilmen, and its tributary the Tsna, water Tver in the north-west, and the Western Dwina rises in Ostashkoff. This network of rivers highly favours navigation: as many as 3000 boats, yearly pass through the Vyshnevoiotsk system, and com, linseed, spirits, flax, hemp, timber, metals, and manufactured ware to the annual value of 1,500,000 are shipped from, or brought to, the river ports of the government. Lakes, ponds, and marshes are numerous in the west and north-west, Lake Seliger the source of the A olga and Lake Mstino being the most important. The forests coniferous in the north and deciduous in the south are rapidly disappearing, but still cover 890,000 acres. The climate is continental; the average yearly temperature at Tver (41 5 Fahr.) is the same as that of Orel and Tambott (January 11, July 67). The population (1,646,683 in 1883, as against 1,567,300 in 1872) is unequally distributed, and in the districts of Kalyazin and Kashin attains a density not much less than that of the more highly favoured black-earth provinces of south east Russia (16 and 17 per square mile). Apart from some 100,000 Karelians and a few Poles and foreigners, the people are all Great Russians. Some traces of Finnish Ves and of Lithuanians are found in the north-east and south. The official returns give the number of Raskolniks as 25,000. Only 157,110 are urban; but agriculture is not the chief occupation. "While barley and oats are exported, rye is imported. The crops for 1883-1885 averaged 2,889,400 quarters of corn and 4,078,400 bushels of potatoes. Cattle-rearing does not prosper, and the in crease shown by the returns for 1883 (351,630 horses, 583,670 cattle, and 373,780 sheep) as against those of 1872 is simply due to better registration. Cheese-making has recently been introduced on the co-operative principle (2168 cwts. of cheddar exported to Britain in 1881). The fisheries in the lakes and rivers are productive. The peasants are principally engaged in various manufactures. The total production of the larger manufactures in 1883 was valued at 2,237,250 (tanneries 244,460, cottons 803,270, distilleries 320,010, flour-mills 263,500), and that of the petty trades carried on in combination with agriculture (preparation of pitch, tar, and turpentine, boat-building, construction of cars, sledges, wheels, boxes, tubes, and wooden vessels, and cabinet-making) was estimated in 1884 at 3,000,000, giving occupation to 101,400 persons. Certain branches of the leather industry are important, Kimry and Ostash koff sending to the market 650,000 worth of boots annually. The small workshops of Tver and the surrounding district work some 4500 cwts. of iron into nails every year, and the Ostashkoff smiths use some 7000 cwts. of iron annually in the manufacture of hatchets, scythes, sickles, and different agricultural implements. Weaving, lace-making, leather embroidery, stocking-making, felting, and the like are also important petty trades, several of these being organized on co-operative principles by the zemstvos. The railway from St Petersburg to Moscow crosses Tver, and sends on" two branches to Rzheff and to Rybinsk, all three lines being among the busiest in Russia. The river traffic also is considerable. The chief centres of trade, besides the city of Tver, are Byezhetsk, Rzheff, Kashin, Ostashkoff, Torshok, Krasnyi Kholin, and Vesiegonsk during its fair. The provincial assembly of Tver is one of the most prominent in Russia for its efforts in the cause of education and sanitary improvement. In 1883 there were 997 primary schools with 47,680 scholars (8500 girls), 17 gymnasia and progymnasia (1697 boys and 1263 girls), and two normal schools for teachers. The government is divided into twelve districts, the chief towns of which, with their populations in 1884, are TVER (see below), Byezhetsk (5890), Kalyazin (5200), Kashin (5730), Kortcheva (2275), Ostashkoff (9900), Rzheff (26,480), Staritsa (2700), Torshok (12,910), Vesiegonsk (3370), Vyshniy Vototchok (11,590), and Zubtsoff (3160).