Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 1931. 24 pp.: ill., including covers. 23x19,5 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Covers slightly rubbed and soiled, otherwise mint. Second edition. Very rare. Illustrated throughout.
This constructivist children’s book was co-created by artists and spouses Olga Deineko and Nikolai Troshin. Together they produced several children's lithographed books on an industrial topic: “How
Beets Became Sugar” (1927), “How Cotton Plant Became Cotton Fabric” (1929), “From Caoutchouc to Overshoes” (1930), “Bakery No. 3” (1930), “A Thousand Dresses a Day” (1931). In 1943, a joint
exhibition of the artists took place in Moscow. Olga Deineko (1897-1970) was born and brought up in Ukraine. She studied art at the School of Baron Stieglitz in 1916-1918, VKhUTEMAS with N. Kupreyanov, I. Mashkov and V. Favorsky in 1919-1923. Later Deineko became a member of the Association of Revolutionary Poster Workers (ORRP, 1931-1932) and was engaged in the design of propaganda posters.
Nikolai Troshin (1897-1990) is best known as the main artist of the magazine “The USSR in Construction”. In all, he designed in photomontage technique more than 40 issues. He studied at the Penza Art College named after N. D. Seliverstov under I. Goryushkin-Sorokopudov, N. Petrov in 1913–1918, and at VKhUTEMAS with I. Mashkov in 1918-1920. After graduation, Troshin made propaganda posters for the Transreklama enterprise and for the publishing house of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs. He designed exhibitions in the USSR and abroad, city squares for celebrations, and parade editions.
This book is an outstanding example of the genre of children’s “industrial” books created in the 1920s and 1930s. They explained to young readers various processes of production and cultivation to easier educate a new generation of socialist workers. The printed book was preceded by “travel to a factory, detailed pencil-in-hand study of production processes, living in a working environment, enthusiastic work on the artistic representation of the industry”.
As the left half of the front cover design, the account starts with rubber tapping in South America. The authors tell how local workers form balls of heated rubber and transfer halves of them by the Amazon river to an ocean port. When the cargo is delivered to a Soviet factory, it is washed, dried, rolled, mixed with other substances to obtain rubber. This is followed by the production of components of overshoes, their assembly and processing in different departments of the factory. Each of them is drawn on a separate page. The book features the use of conveyor production, the
division into machine and manual labor, and the work of women and men at the factory. Page layouts vary, depending on the illustration neighboring. The rear side of wrappers shows a simplified colored map of a route that cargo vessels made from South America to the USSR.
Paper copies are located in Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, National Louis, Chicago Florida Universities, NYPL, Chicago Botanic Garden Library, Los Angeles Public Library.