Moscow: Izdatel’stvo Narkomtorgov SSSR i RSFSR, 1930. Item #1457
16 pp.: ill. 18,5x12,5 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Small hole around rusty staple, covers detached from block, otherwise very good.
Extremely rare with no copies in Worldcat.
This mass-audience lithographic brochure was produced for advertising purposes and for raising the literacy level as well. Being issued in a huge printrun of 600 000 copies (as indicated), the edition wasn’t sold at that time but was sent for free. Such a fragile brochure with non-fiction content most likely ended as kindling and didn’t survive up to our days.
It was printed with an unusual letterpress design. Occasionally, the text was highlighted by using bold type, uppercase, increasing kerning and even changing the typeface. In the 1920s, pioneers of constructivist book design like Klutsis, Lissitzky, Telingater managed to work themselves in a printing shop to create the design they wanted. By the 1930s, printers easily operated various typesetting elements for a not complicated yet catching layout. Bearing in mind the constructivist heritage in the book design, creators of this book did combine horizontal and vertical text lines for the front cover but produced the back cover close to illustrations of children’s books. The wrappers echoed each other: an alive and healthy pig of the front cover “dominates” over various leather items depicted below while there is the only pigskin spread under the same items on the back cover. Internally, the edition was constructed in the style of illustrated instructions on how to properly remove the skin and prepare it for delivery, how to prepare fat or the whole carcass for sale. It was also about how to deal with a pig that had died from diseases.
Pigskin was an alternative raw material used by the Soviet leather industry alongside cowhide. They also contributed to the formation of the budget for Soviet industrialization. Nationalized tanneries of various regions of Soviet Russia began to take key positions in the country’s developing industry. They were strategically important since this industry was associated with such a primary factor of that time as import substitution. The brochure urged peasants and members of cooperatives not to burn and to take good care of pigskins because they were in demand of state organizations. Pigskins were used by the state organization Kozhsindikat [Skin Syndicate] and were exported abroad. The country bought foreign machinery for industries and agriculture with the money raised for the pigskins.
Referring to “the best scientific minds”, the edition warned Soviet people not to eat pigskins that were unhealthy and less nutritious, than meat meals that any supplier of pigskins could afford.
The book was circulated for free.
No copies in Worldcat.