[SCHOOLS DURING NEP] [Notebook with Photomontage on the Cover]

[SCHOOLS DURING NEP] [Notebook with Photomontage on the Cover]

Item #452

School notebook, with handwritten notes and drawings. [Saratov, 1926]. [20 pp.] 22х17,5 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Very good, tears with the minor missing fragments of the back cover (text is not affected).

Extremely rare survival of a unique phenomenon in the printing of Soviet school notebooks. The photomontage on the front cover contains Vladimir Lenin’s figure in opposite to the illiterate children who were put in front of the well-known Lenin’s phrase ‘First, to learn, secondly, to learn, and thirdly, to learn’ and below - one of them is reading at the library.

The quality of the photomontage on the cover suggests that design of the notebooks from Moscow/Leningrad was reproduced for this provincial print run, as it’s hard to imagine a photomontage specialist of this caliber in Saratov in 1926.

This notebook was printed by Saratov Artel of Disabled People called after L. Trotsky. At that time Leon Trotsky had already failed the struggle against Stalin and was being removed from the all offices. This is an evidence of the provincial capitalist enterprises during New Economic Policy when the Soviet government encouraged the introduction of experimental approach in the system of education. The company offered the wide range of services, including the complex design of the books and school notebooks. Since 1925 the Soviet Union was slowly switching from old Russian measures to a modern metric system. On the back cover of notebook the Russian units of measurement like sazhen, barrel and berkovets were compiled in parallel with the units of metric system.

The notebook was used by the boy Valentin Berezin for math classes.