• Soviet Visuals

Women in the Soviet Union formally had equal rights with men. The reality however sometimes looked a little different. Soviet propaganda glorified a woman-mother, a woman-worker and comrade-in arms.

Miss KGB contest winner Yekaterina Mayorova, 1990

Welder Raya Moldovan working at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. Photo by Vsevolod Tarasevich, Ukrainian SSR, 1960s

People in a queue. Photo by Vladimir Vorobiev, Novokuznetsk, 1982

Fur hats ad from hard currency catalogue by Vneshposyltorg, 1967

Photo by Emmanuil Evzerikhin, Moscow, 1930s

Actress Dodo Chogovadze, still from "Aladdin and his Magic Lamp",1967

Moscow police lieutenant, criminal investigator Nina Demchenko at home. Photo by Yuri Abramochkin,1968

Novosibirsk ladies. Photo by Nathan Farb, 1977

Fashion model Tamara Vladimirtseva, 1969

Photo by Sergei Borisov,1989

Uzbek girl. Photo by Max Penson, 1930

Builder of Moscow metro,1930s

  • Soviet Visuals

Tajik bridegroom and bride applying for a marriage certificate. Photo by Max Alpert, 1930

"Vodka, Hashish and Tobacco. Drinking destroys health. Smoking hashish destroys your body and leads a person either to prison or to a madhouse. With the money that a Red Army man spends every month on tobacco, he can buy the pictured goods and subscribe to newspaper" poster, Tashkent, Turkestan ASSR, 1920s

A pupil of a secondary school in the city of Tashkent shows the letter of the Arabic alphabet. Uzbek SSR, 1967

Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Kirghiz SSR, February 24, 1985

"Comrades Muslims! Join the regiments of Vsevobuch military training!" Soviet poster, 1919

Lyudmila Rodina, employee of the Alma-Ata children's toys factory. Photo by Iosif Budnevich, Kazakh SSR, 1971

Border guards with Tajik girls, 1977

Schoolchildren from the Frunze Palace of Pioneers technical creativity club with their robot. Photo by Eduard Vilchinsky, Kirghiz SSR, 1965

Traditional Uzbek singer, Honoured Artist of the Uzbek SSR Shumarov Shurakhin. Photo by Semyon Fridlyand, Tashkent, 1950s

City of Kurchatov, Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. Photo by Alexander Liskin, Kazakh SSR, 1991

"For the Soviet East. 10 years of the Red Army" poster, Tashkent, 1928

Famous Soviet singer Alla Pugacheva at Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakh SSR, 1977

Travel poster, 1934

High-mountain outdoor skating rink Medeu. Photo by Oleg Ionov, Kazakh SSR, 1990

Solar photovoltaic station in Turkmen SSR. Photo by K. Muradov, 1986

Computer Laboratory at the Department of Applied Mathematics, Lenin State University, Dushanbe, Tajik SSR, 1976

"Dekhan peasant, do not elect these people! They were your enemies and they remain your enemies" Soviet Tajik poster, 1920s

"Tea house. Uzbek SSR" Photo by: Frank and Helena Schreider, 1968

"Ballet studio students" photo by Semyon Friedland, Kazakh SSR, 1950s

Grandfather Frost and Snow Maiden on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. Photo by Nikolai Zhiganov, Kirghiz SSR, 1981

Updated: Apr 9

Getting household appliances was not an easy task in the USSR. Soviet people had to save up for a long time and wait in line to buy durable goods. Sometimes they would receive them as a reward for outstanding work or service. Some of the items, often produced at military factories, impressed with their manufacturability and design. Others were criticized for questionable quality and high price.

"Rekord 705" Soviet color TV set. Photo by N.Khrennikov, 1974

"Staume-2" dishwasher,1972

Desk fan, 1957

Kometa-212 stereo, reel-to-reel tape recorder, 1980s

Electric iron, 1981

"Volga" electric gramophone, 1950s

Refrigerators by Saratov refrigerator factory. Photo by S.Raskin, USSR, 1954

VEF 202 portable radio, 1970s

"Chaika 142M" sewing machine, 1991

"Elektronika VideoSport-3" game console, 1988

"Kvant" TV console, produced at the Lvov CRT plant. Photo by B. Krishtul, 1974

"Elektronika" microwave oven, 1984

"Saturnas" vacuum cleaner, 1960s

1981 Soviet ad for "Vyatka avtomat 12" automatic washing machine: "Caring husband is nice but automatic washing machine is even nicer. 495 roubles."

"Vikhr" vacuum cleaner. Photo by Mikhail Trakhman, 1960