A cyclogram of cutting metal with a chisel and hammer. Aleksei Gastev in the laboratory of the Central Institute of Labour
Moscow State Pedagogical University, Old main building, in Malaya Pirogovskaya
Aleksei Kapitonovich enrolled in the Moscow Pedagogical Institute (now Moscow State Pedagogical University) but was expelled as a result of his participation in a revolutionary meeting.
Since 1904 Aleksei Kapitonovich lived in Paris, worked as a locksmith, studied at the Higher School of Social Sciences. In Geneva in 1904, a separate book called The Cursed Question about the love of a working revolutionary.
Aleksei Kapitonovich was a delegate to the Kostroma organization at the 4th Congress of the RSDLP (Stockholm, April 1906). In 1906 he was arrested in Moscow and exiled for 3 years to the Arkhangelsk province, from where he fled abroad in 1907. Then, in 1907-1910, Aleksei Kapitonovich lived illegally in Saint Petersburg, worked in tram parks, participated in the creation, and was a member of the union of metalworkers, published in Metal Worker, Unity, Metalist articles and notes about life workers.
In 1908 Aleksei Kapitonovich left the RSDLP. From 1910 he lived in Paris, worked in factories, participated in the syndicalist movement, was the secretary of the club of Russian workers, and was a member of the League for the Proletarian Culture, led by A.V. Lunacharsky. In 1910-1913 in the journal Life for All, in the sections Work World and Work Movement, he published essays from his work experience in enterprises in Russia and abroad.
Since autumn 1916 Aleksei Kapitonovich published correspondence, articles, political reviews in the Voice of Siberia in March-April 1917 was the editor of this newspaper.
After 1917 Aleksei Kapitonovich was in trade union and scientific work. From 1920 he devoted his activity to the creation of the Central Institute of Labor (CIT) under the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, which he directed up to 1938. In 1921 he talked with Lenin on the affairs of CIT, who promised to allocate the initial funding of the project.
On September 8, 1938 Aleksei Kapitonovich was arrested on false charges of "counter-revolutionary terrorist activity". He was detained in a Moscow prison and sentenced to death by a speedy trial on April 14, 1939. There was no defense attorney and no possibility to appeal against the decision, as was common during the Great Purge. On April 15, 1939 Aleksei Kapitonovich was shot to death in the suburbs of Moscow.
Aleksei Kapitonovich joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1901. An active participant in the Russian Revolution of 1905, he was the leader of a fighting squad in Kostroma and agitated workers to strike in the Northern Russian cities of Yaroslavl, Ivanovo-Voznesensk, and Rostov. During this time, Aleksei Kapitonovich was closely associated with the Bolshevik faction of the Party. He frequently corresponded with Lenin and Krupskaya on matters of party policy in 1903-1904 and reported to Lenin on the general strike in Ivanovo-Voznesensk in 1905.
As a result of his revolutionary activism, Aleksei Kapitonovich was arrested by the authorities and exiled to various parts of Northern and Eastern Russia in at least three separate incidents. He was nevertheless able to escape from his exiles each time, living illegally in Russia and usually managing to find his way abroad. In 1907 Aleksei Kapitonovich dissociated himself from the activities of the Bolshevik faction.
Aleksei Kapitonovich was married twice. His first wife was Anna Gasteva (Vasilieva), they married in 1914 and had one son Vladimir. In 1920 he got married for the second time with Sofia Gasteva. They had 3 sons: Peter, Aleksey, and Yury.