Kharkiv: Vydannia robitnichoi gazety ‘Proletar’, 1931. Item #1219
, XII, 172 pp.: ill., 1 folding plan + 22 leaves of ads. 19x13 cm. In original constructivist wrappers with monogram V.Sh. Bumped and slightly rubbed, foxing and small tear of the plan, contemporary private stamps on t.p., otherwise very good and clean.
One of 6100 copies. Extremely rare.
Constructivist cover design features drawing of grandiose Derzhprom construction (1928), the first high-rise reinforced concrete building in Ukraine and one of the most iconic examples of Kharkiv constructivist architecture. An image of Derzhprom was printed on the title page as well.
This edition is the great evidence of Kharkiv life in the first five-year plan and a highly valuable source on the development of Soviet Ukraine. The directory contains numerous advertisements of shops and factories, museums, retail products, mechanisms, magazines and even industrial exhibitions. Among them is one small but curious advertisement of electric lifts for workers - they were slowly spread during industrialization. The advertisements were placed on separate leaves, as well as alongside the lower edge of text pages. One of such small ads promoting subscription on a cheap fiction series ‘Novels and Stories’.
Every section opens with a constructivist half-title featuring a small photograph of an exemplary building of this section. Kharkiv was a capital city until 1934 and advanced architecture was actively built there. Half-titles depict Traktorobud, Kharchosmak club, Newspaper and Book Publishing complex, Berezil Theater, DEZ factory, etc. The constructivist project of the Kharchosmak workers’ club was designed by architect Alexander Linetskii (1884-1953) and was built in 1928-1930. Most of the time the whole building was occupied for theatrical performances, amateur and professional. Its original appearance was lost after the reconstruction in 1974-1976.
The directory includes diverse information that mirrors needs and opportunities of Kharkiv dwellers in the early 1930s. A section of the publishing business lists addresses of writers, composers, artists or mentioned an organization which a person worked in. The latter meant that people lived in corporate dormitories of those organizations.
In the 1920s Kharkiv remained one of the educational centers of Ukraine. The edition lists all contemporary scientific institutions, rabfaks, courses of distance education. Interestingly, after Kiev was stated the capital city and the party administrative organizations were transferred there, some universities were moved as well. Most likely, a similar situation was about large industrial and trade organizations located in Kharkiv and listed in this edition.
Lots of streets and squares changed their names that time. All new names were listed in the last section and were also indicated in the folding plan (43,5x37 cm) along with routes of Kharkiv trams.
Worldcat doesn’t track this edition.
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