Technology and Life – Cover Illustration
The steam train and the crane are emblematic of the modernist themes: speed, strength and progress. It is a masculine, impersonal vision of the emotionless, automated, efficient, industrial future. It is a perfect reflection of the contents of the magazine and the obsessions of the time. This cover is an excellent compliment to that of issue 18, available here.
‘Technology and Life’ was an official publication of the People’s Commissariat of the Means of Communication – i.e. the Ministry of Transport – of the USSR. This issue contains a varied and interesting choice of articles and ends with a puzzle page. It is cosmopolitan in its outlook, reporting at length on the achievements of foreign technologists.
A digest of technical subjects
This issue of Tekhnika i Zhizn includes articles about: Rationalisation of transport work, the Moromski Steam Locomotive Repair Works, achievements in river bridges, radio at sea, how to use electricity as a fuel, the plan for railway sleeper impregnation works, railway accidents in the USSR, a new track measuring device, and more. The subtitle to the magazine is ‘A Popular Technical Journal on Transport’.
The Moscow-Kazan Railway Moromski Steam Locomotive Repair Works
Due to the very harsh operating conditions and workload, steam locomotives in the USSR were continually in need of repair. This activity was a priority for improvement and the press often featured articles about the factories where locomotives were repaired and refurbished.
The Moromski Works is called ‘One of the best workshops of all the railways of the USSR’, having capacity to work on 30 locomotives at a time. It has its own electricity supply from its power station and an extensive boiler repair capability. There are iron and steel foundries, wheelwrights and powerful cranes. The article concludes:
The Muromski workshop, in an organisational sense, is the one that is continually looking for new ways to repair locomotives. This desire to improve things from an organisational point of view was obvious almost from the very beginning of the works (around 1920) and the increasing productivity in most cases is the result of these organisational achievements.
The pages include a photograph and short commentary about a giant airship which is taking atmospheric readings, mooring onto a ship at Le Havre in France.
The photo on the right of the airship is of the construction of a new and large power station on the East River in the USA, which apparently required an entire forest of cedar trees to be cut down to provide the wood for the foundations. (See picture, right).
A further article is about the use of gas as a fuel for trucks in countries where petrol is in short supply.