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USSR in Construction

Over time we'll add a complete listing of the issues of USSR in Construction as a research aid.
1930no.5-6Published in conjunction with the 16th Party Congress and included a greeting to the Congress on the cover of the Russian edition
1930nos. 7-8Subjects other than those related to industrial development were regularly included, i.e. accomplishments in the area of sanitation and public health. These themes were best suited to distinguish Soviet conditions from capitalist conditions during the Depression
1932no.1 "The Giant and the Builder" was published to conincide with the initial firing of the first blast furnaces at Magnitogorsk and was distributed at the 17th Party Conference
1934 no.1An advertisement for Newton Chambers and Company, an English firm, is tipped into the back of the first issue for 1934. The theme of this issue was the Bobriki Chemical Complex, a construction project for which Newton Chambers had provided equipment and technical expertise
1934no.2"Four Bolshevik Victories" was published in conjunction with the 17th Party Congress. Special copies of this issue were wrapped in fabric from the Stratostrat "SSSR," a Soviet high altitude exploration balloon, and contained a gramophone record of speeches by the four commanders of the Soviet expeditions that it highlighted
1935no.1The deluxe variant of the January issue, devoted to the Maksim Gorkii Agitational Air Squadron, features a silvery aluminum cover with an image of an airplane but no other text (the cover usually included the name of the magazine)
1935no.12The final issue for 1935, "Fearless Soviet Parachutists," features elaborate paper folds in both the regular and deluxe versions. The deluxe version utilizes better materials, includes details such as a metallic aluminum cutout airplane, features even more paper folding and has a parachute which literally unfurls before the reader like a children’s pop-up book. The design differences necessitated different layouts for various parts of the magazine, rendering the two versions as essentially distinct publications
1936 A notable luxury version that appeared in 1936 was devoted to Soviet Georgia. This deluxe variant is printed on higher quality paper and gold leaf detail appears on a number of exceptionally richly printed pages. This issue received laudatory reviews in both Pravda and Za industrializatsa, the newspaper of the Commissariat of Heavy Industry
1937nos. 9, 10, 11, and 12Issues for September, October, November, and December were released in a single, combined issue. It celebrates the 20 years since the Great October Socialist Revolution, and focuses upon the articles of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as well as profiles of various republics within the USSR
1938no.1 The January issue is centered on Soviet cinema. It places importance not only on the art of cinema, but the industrial aspects as well, emphasizing statistics. The issue also includes a number of smaller pages
1938no.2The February issue shed a spotlight on the Moscow-Volga Canal, a canal that connects the Moskva River with the main transportation artery of European Russia, the Volga River. The issue presents a photojournalistic tour, accompanied by elaborate descriptions, of the Canal. Only passing mentions are made of the Gulag prisoners who were forced to construct the canal over the period of 1932 to 1937
1938no.3The March issue is a profile of the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic, which is now modern day Kyrgyzstan located in central Asia. Emphasis is equally divided between different aspects of the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic, including natural resources, agriculture, education, arts and culture, and politics. It is unique from other issues in its graphic design, which features curlicues and other such graphical elements
1938no.4The April issue emphasizes the right of all citizens to vote, particularly focusing upon youth and women. There are numerous depictions of average citizens casting their votes
1938no.7The July issue highlights Soviet railways, focusing not only upon the founders, but the workers and passengers as well
1938no.9The September issue celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Moscow Art Theatre. Notable playwrights, actors, performances, and plays are showcased in a layout that is relatively gridlike
1938nos.11/12The combined November/December issue focuses on Kiev, the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Highlights include panoramic views of the city and a multi-page foldout
1939no.1The January issue’s focus is on Soviet Cossacks, a nomadic people especially noted for their horsemanship. Particular importance is placed upon horses, agriculture, and military exploits.

Courtesy of Jon Evans, Director, Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (August 2011).
We welcome any additional information on USSR in Construction and examples of covers and magazine layouts. Any contributions will be fully credited. 



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