Tomsk tŏmsk, Rus. tômsk [key], city (1989 pop. 502,000), capital of Tomsk region, W central Siberian Russia, on the Tom River. It is a major river port and freight transit point, and is a regional headquarters for oil exploration and production companies. Machine tools, electric motors, ball bearings, instruments, and chemicals are made there. Founded in 1604 around a fort built by Boris Godunov, Tomsk was a major Siberian trade center until bypassed by the construction of the Trans-Siberian RR in the 1890s. It is a major educational center of Siberia, with a university (founded 1880) and a medical school (founded 1888).
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