Delo chesti, delo slavy, delo doblesti i geroystva [i.e. The Case of Honor, the Case of Glory, the Case of Valor and the Case of Heroism]
Moscow: Partiynoe izdatelstvo; 1ya Obraztsovaya tipografiya, 1932. Item #1507
32 pp. 22x15,3 cm. Original photomontage wrappers. Very good condition, pale water stains on rear side of covers and last leaf. Spine is slightly restored. Contemporary ink marks and corrections occasionally.
The designers are not named in the book itself (except for the technical observer, Galina Pismannik), but we contend that the design of this edition was probably overseen by “Brigade #1 For Mass Book Production”, responsible for the number 24 in this catalog.
We base our case on the similarities in style and, most importantly, the fact that both books were printed in the same printing shop, just eight months apart. Executing such elaborate work at 1ya Obraztsovaya tipografiya [i.e. The first exemplary printing shop] would have taken a considerable amount of time and focus from the workers. It therefore seems likely that the books were prepared by the same Brigade, or at any rate that this one was strongly influenced by it.
This book is entirely printed using mezzotinto (text and photos), a technique originally introduced to Russia in the 1910s and used for periodicals with massive print-runs like “Iskra” and “Solntse Rossii”. However, in 1921, there was only one steam-press capable of executing it: 1ya Obraztsovaya tipografiya in Moscow (see Efremov, S. Glubokaya pechat. Mezzo-tinto. Moscow, 1928), and in the 1920s and ’30s others also appeared.
The machine used at 1ya Obraztsovaya was produced in Mühlhausen and was capable of printing 32-page brochures incredibly quickly using this technique: 10,000 copies an hour.
The typographic technologies used, the scope of 1ya Obraztsovaya, the reproduction of unorthodox photomontage designs point to the true book for the masses. The edition published a call of employees of the AMO factory [ZIL later] to workers of the entire country. Facing the second five-year plan, they encouraged everybody for socialist competition and shock-working rates. Photomontages and pictures feature various vehicles that the AMO factory produced, crowds of workers and peasants, factories inside and outside. By 1932, the Soviet Union had made an industrial breakthrough in heavy industry. That ensured independence of the Soviet automobile industry, in particular. One of the photomontages demonstrates the common motif of agricultural workers driving tractors, another one showcases the first passenger car released with the AMO label.
The only copy located via Worldcat is at Princeton University Library.