Moscow: Meditsinskoe izdatelstvo, 1929. Item #994
80 pp.: ill. 22x30 cm. One of 40000 copies printed. Original illustrated cardboard binding. Covers are slightly rubbed, some minor restoration of the front cover. Part of the spine is missing, the 1920s stamps of the hospital on the title page, pp.13 and 37. Overall a very good copy.
A very curious relic of its time: the manual in the form of the comic book on how to nurse the patients at home.
The edition is part of the campaign initiated by Nikolay Burdenko (1876-1946) and one of the organizers of the Soviet medical system Zinoviy Soloviev (1876-1928) who was the deputy to the health minister during the 1920s. He was the one who tried to implement the idea of the prophylactic measures into the masses by the means of the visual agitation. In the late 1920s poets like Mayakovsky and Demyan Bednyi were involved in the production of texts for sanitary posters and brochures.
The book gives the overview of every aspect of patients’ needs: from hygiene recommendations for the caretaker to the regulations of feeding and medical procedures - how to put mustard plasters, enema, treat wounds, how to disinfect the linen and the cutlery.
The album itself is an interesting example of the staged photography of the time. Containing 182 staged photo involving several actors, composed 4 to 6 per page for every chapter to show the process and the ways of treatments described, the photos make very useful visual supplement to the text. Occasional photomontage is used. Because of the large quantity the photos also allow to look inside the everyday life of the usual Soviet household - showing the kettles, cups, books, furniture as well as simplest medical instruments of the time.
Overall an interesting outlook of Soviet life of the 1920s.
Despite the big print run the album is extremely rare: constant use of the album and the type of audience explain the scarcity.
The only copy of the album is at National Library of Medicine according to the Worldcat.