Science and Technology
This is a fascinating magazine. Its pages are still not cut at the top.
Readers under about 40 years old will be unfamiliar with this. In printing technology, the pages of a book or magazine are normally printed and cut into sheets of at least 4 pages per sheet – two on one side of the paper, two on the other. These sheets, when folded and compiled, display the pages in the correct order. They are bound on their left-hand side to the spine. However, because of the folding, they are actually joined to their neighbouring pages at the top. Normally a machine in the factory would be used to cut all the pages before the book was compiled. However, to save time, money and material, one could circumnavigate this step. Therefore it was very usual, even until the 1980s, to buy a paper, magazine or book in the USSR and to have to cut the pages apart ones self. Whoever bought this copy of Science and Technology did not cut the pages, so never read it.
There are over 150 pieces from our collection on the site. Most of them are in excellent condition, considering their age and what they have survived. However, this particular piece is in poor condition. The covers and 8 pages are not bound together, although the central 12 pages are all integral. On the plus side, it is a very rare piece and the cover is perfect for framing, as are several of the pages, for single display.
The cover is obviously avant-garde, with the constructivist elements of design and light and dark bringing a clear and strong feel. The words under the photograph say ‘American catalytic cracker of high capacity. Similar plant is being built and is partly already working in Grozny, Baku and Tuapse.’
This article is an interesting comment on one of the crucial areas of industry in which the USSR had considerable difficulty in production – bearings. The special metals used for bearings were in short supply – chrome steel, stainless steel and babitt. Such was the scarcity of babitt that the American businessman, Armand Hammer, was given a concession to import and sell the metal in the USSR. An advertisement for that appears in this magazine.
The lower article is about consistent lubrication of bearings – also a major problem in the early USSR. It says that the special lubricants necessary for higher-temperature bearings will be manufactured at the ‘Turkmentseroz’ factory.
Science and Technology News
The centre pages are devoted to a round-up of various technical achievements and developments, including:
A burner system for use with coal dust
Automatic emergency life-raft benches
The visagraph, a device for printing normal books onto embossed tape to allow blind people to read, invented by Robert Naumburg
The use of photo-electric elements to aid flying in foggy conditions
A new design of whaling ship
A ‘Gigantic tunnel for the testing of aeroplanes’
Puncture-free car tyres.