Moscow: N.K.P.S. Transpechat’, 1925. 31x23 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Very good and mostly clean. #8 stamp ‘People’s Commissariat of Foreign Trade’ on front cover, few stains; #9 uncut, pencil marks on front cover; #20 minor rusty stains, ink mark on p.1; #22 water stain on lower margin, small fragment of back cover lost.
Soviet periodical about contemporary achievements and inventions in tech worldwide, published in 1923-1926. The magazine was edited by Lev Liberman and Sergei Pozniakov.
The edition became one of the tribunes for Constructivist principles of theorist and artist Alexei Gan (1887-1942). He designed impressive constructivist covers, advertisements and the internal layout. Every cover was printed in two colors varying the composition of the title and illustration. Thus all of them were laconic yet impressive, might include geometric components. For example, the covers of issue #22 were devoted to the 1925 International Chess Tournament held in Moscow. Gan complemented the monochrome basis of the photograph with a red chess piece and lettering ‘shakh’ [checkmate], echoing them by a red rectangle on the back cover. Issue #8 (the back cover) features a photomontage advertisement with children opening their mouths and ‘reciting’ pieces of slogan attached. Richly illustrated, the periodical often demonstrated photomontage compositions, as well as interesting arrangements of texts and photographs.
Initiated as an organ of the State transport organization, the magazine mainly focused on topics related to various vehicles. In the 1920s, the most thrilling kind was machines capable of flight: airplanes and airships. The periodical overviewed the Soviet constructions of 1924-1925, including Tupolev’s ANT-2, the first Russian all-metal aircraft. Airplanes were also presented as a tool of propaganda during the May Day celebrations and the most advanced vehicle for chemical treatment of fields. Small photomontages are supplemented texts about airplane testing and the early models of Soviet Ukrainian aviation. Apart from flying machines, the edition included materials on tractors and other vehicles driven off-road. One of the articles is dedicated to all Central Asian transport.
The main subject of issue #20 became various Arctic transports. It contains a review of Knud Rasmussen’s expedition that crossed Northwest Passage in the early 1920s and observed Eskimo’s life and customs. The portrait of three Eskimo children was placed on the front cover while an article inside was supplemented with pictures of an Eskimo man and traditional boats.
The 1925 issues gave a picture of contemporary technical inventions. Issue #8 shows models of the Shterov power station, the first enterprise of its kind built in Ukraine as a part of the GOELRO plan. It opened in 1931, mostly evacuated in WWII and operated until 1983. Another interesting article was related to a project of the Volga-Don Canal. The early Soviet designs were created during the implementation of the GOELRO plan in the 1920s, but the Canal was constructed in 1952 only.
A significant consumer of agricultural technology was Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy. It was founded in 1865 and remained the largest educational institution of the Soviet agricultural industry. A photograph of a vast territory with an indication of the buildings was printed on the double-page spread (#9). There are world’s lighthouse news, notes about advanced radio tech and foreign printing machines, American experiments in photographing the flight of a bullet and “photographing of the voice”, as well as a phenomenon of Russian agronomic trains - traveling museums of agriculture. At the same time, free spaces on the last pages might be occupied by any curious news: record motorcycle jumps, a rotating clock for any world time, movable fishing factories in trains.
Among the authors were engineers of various fields, for example, Soviet scientist of agricultural mechanization and engineering Vladislav Zheligovsky (1891-1974) who worked in Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy in the 1920s.