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Category Archive: Soviet Kaleidoscope

The Soviet Union automobile industry in 1953

The Soviet Union automobile industry in 1953

Various types of passenger cars and trucks. Photos from “The Soviet Union” magazine #37, 1953. The Soviet Union automobile industry

The Soviet Union automobile industry in 1953

The appearance of an article on various types of passenger cars and trucks that the USSR produced was welcomed by foreign readers of the magazine “The Soviet Union”. In particular, the article of the prominent Soviet scientist Academician E. Chudakov and several photographs showing the production.
The automobile industry of the USSR can rightfully be called the offspring of Soviet power. In tsarist Russia there was no automobile industry, except for attempts to organize the production of cars at the Russo-Baltic plant – an attempt that ended in failure: for 6 years this enterprise produced … 450 cars.
However, created in the Soviet Union a new branch of industry, the enterprises of which, for example, in 1937, produced more than 200,000 cars, overtaking England, France and Germany in truck production. In the same year 1937, the USSR’s road transport by tonnage of the cargo transported was ahead of the railway transport. The growth of road freight transportation continues at a very fast pace.
Noteworthy, the motorization of the Soviet Union was carried out in an extremely short time. In the first years after the Great October Socialist Revolution, the general state of industry made it impossible to seriously raise the question of automobile production on a scale corresponding to the needs of the national economy. First of all, there was no necessary metallurgical base. Nevertheless, a small production of cars started. And the Moscow plant AMO produced the first Soviet cars, the one-and-a-half-ton cargo brands AMO-F-15, in 1924.
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Thank you comrade Stalin for our happy childhood

Painting by Mikhail Chepik (1872 - 1920). Flowers to Stalin. 1951. Oil on canvas. Thank you comrade Stalin for our happy childhood

Painting by Mikhail Chepik (1872 – 1920). Flowers to Stalin. 1951. Oil on canvas. Thank you comrade Stalin for our happy childhood

Thank you comrade Stalin for our happy childhood
The history of this phrase dates back to July 6, 1936, when a delegation from the Buryat-Mongolian ASSR arrived in Moscow. The first secretary of the regional committee, Mikhei Yerbanov, headed it, along with the Minister of Agriculture Ardan Markizov with his wife (then a student of the Moscow Medical Institute). Also, with them was their daughter Gelya, who wanted to see the “leader of all nations”. So, at the meeting in Kremlin Gelya handed Stalin a bouquet of flowers with the words: “These flowers are from the children of Buryat-Mongolia.” The deeply touched Stalin took the girl in his arms and kissed her. This moment, captured by a lot of present photographers and newsreelists, became iconic. Besides, the photo, signed “Thanks to Comrade Stalin for our happy childhood!” appeared in all the newspapers of the USSR. The government and citizens liked the words so much that later they began to paint pictures from the legendary photo. Such an iconic image adorned children’s institutions, produced in posters and even in sculptural compositions.
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Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR

Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR

RSFSR in precious stones. Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR. Located in the Central Research Geological Prospecting Museum of Academician FN Chernyshev, St. Petersburg, Russia

Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR

This magnificent mosaic is a monumental monument of the imperial style of the times of the Soviet Union. Created in 1937 for a fantastic period of 5 months, the map and the arms of 11 union republics appeared at international exhibitions in Paris and New York. By creating a giant mosaic panel of gems, which would reflect all the victories of the Social Industry, the authorities decided to celebrate the Communist Party of the USSR on the 20th anniversary of October. In fact, this idea belonged to G. K. Ordzhonikidze, People’s Commissar of Heavy Industry of the USSR.
Laid out from thousands of precious and semiprecious stones, the map first shone in 1937 at the World Exhibition in Paris. It amazed the imagination of Europeans along with the gigantic monument of “Worker and Collective Farmer”.
In particular, the mountains on the map are from jasper, and next to them are lazurite seas and rivers, cities are solid rubies. All in full geographical accordance with the original.
However, tThe most expensive stones – emeralds – marked the objects of industry. Impressive is not only the art of artists who created a panel of gems, but also the cost of the work. In the 1940s, the map, taken to an exhibition in New York, was insured for $ 137 million. And it’s hard to imagine how many panels can cost today.
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XXII Summer Olympic Games in the Soviet Union

Closing ceremony. XXII Summer Olympic Games in the Soviet Union. 1980, Moscow

The mascot bear Mishka. Closing ceremony. XXII Summer Olympic Games in the Soviet Union. 1980, Moscow

XXII Summer Olympic Games in the Soviet Union
37 years ago, on July 19, 1980, the XXII Summer Olympic Games opened in Moscow. For the first time, The Olympics took place in a socialist country. According to the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Moscow became an Olympic city. The emblem of the Olympiad became a stylized image of the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin with a star in the form of upward-directed lines denoting athletic tracks. At the base of the tower there were five intertwined Olympic rings.
And the mascot of the Moscow Olympic Games became Bear Misha, created by the Soviet artist Viktor Chizhikov. Initially, due to the lack of Internet in those years, citizens discussed the applicants in the TV program “In the world of animals.” According to the results of the survey, Misha was ahead of all. Among the offers were the moose and squirrel, swan and sable, cock and bison, and at the same time folkloric characters – Petrushka, Matryoshka and Hunchback-Humpback. Noteworthy, Misha became the first mascot in the history of the Games that visited space – on June 15, 1978. It flew aboard the Soyuz-29 spacecraft along with Vladimir Kovalenko and Alexander Ivanchenkov.
However, at the Moscow Olympics there was also another mascot. Thus, the symbol of competition of yachtsmen in Tallinn became puppy named Vigri.
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In 2017 – Unique Soviet futuristic filmstrip made in 1960

In 2017 - Unique Soviet futuristic filmstrip made in 1960

In 2017 – Unique Soviet futuristic filmstrip made in 1960

In 2017 – Unique Soviet futuristic filmstrip made in 1960
First of all, it is really interesting what future people dreamed 57 years ago, and in particular, how they saw us in 2017. People dreamed. And thanks to the artist L. Smekhov, authors of the film V. Strukov and V. Shevchenko the studio “Filmstrip” in 1960 released the fantastic slideshow with subtitles “In 2017”. So, we can now check how true were people’s dreams. Its authors tried to explain to Soviet children in an understandable manner what the world will be like in 57 years. Besides, the year of 2017 is not by accident, it is a Centenary of the Great October Revolution which took place in 1917.
According to the fantasy of the creators of the filmstrip, in 2017, robots, video communication, atomic trains and space travel are in full use. The story tells of one of the days of a Soviet schoolchild who goes to an underground city in Antarctica – Uglegrad. Under a thick layer of ice, life is “boiling”, and Soviet workers extract fuel under the rays of the quartz sun.
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Magazine Ogonyok New Year celebration chronicles

Magazine Ogonyok New Year celebration chronicles

Happy New Year! 1961, #1. Magazine Ogonyok New Year celebration chronicles

Magazine Ogonyok New Year celebration chronicles – vintage photographs of 1940-1960s taken during New Year’s Day celebration in the USSR. The smell of tangerines and a living Christmas tree, hissing champagne glasses and optimistic song from the TV, the taste of salad and a chocolates … Everyone remembers the celebrated New Year in the Soviet Union, all of these feelings are familiar. And the most important feeling: in the USSR the New Year celebration was much happier than it is today.
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1930-1980s Soviet Christmas tree decorations

1930-1980s Soviet Christmas tree decorations

1930-1980s Soviet Christmas tree decorations

1930-1980s Soviet Christmas tree decorations

After the Great October Revolution in 1918, the People’s Commissars issued a ban on the celebration of the New Year, as an attribute of the Old World, and on January 1, it was an ordinary working day. However, Christmas tree was put occasionally in some of the houses, and Christmas tree decorations in the USSR were not easy to find. It was during this period appeared fashion on homemade Christmas decorations made from scrap materials.
Fortunately, in 1935, the Christmas tree ban was lifted by government decree! And already in 1936, the significance of the holiday, as a symbol of a new ideology, has been confirmed by a Christmas tree in the Hall of Columns. In addition, began the production of ornaments, including glass balls with pictures of Lenin and Stalin. Besides, the shops flooded with “the Kremlin stars,” pioneers, dogs, poultry, fruits and vegetables, astronauts, Father Frosts and Snow maidens, and so on. Today, it is fashionable to collect Soviet Christmas toys, but they are becoming rare. Christmas decorations of the Soviet period attract the attention of foreign collectors as well, because in the New Year’s toys reflected the history of several generations of the inhabitants of the Soviet Union.
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