The Unseen USSR: Red Square and the Kremlin, 1981

Sorting through another set of 35 mm slides featuring photos taken by a world traveler from days past, I have discovered a few more images of the USSR from the Brezhnev Era. The pictures below are from an unpublished private collection. Judging from the dates on the slides and the decorations on the Kremlin Wall, these photos appear to have been taken during a celebration of the Great October Socialist Revolution in November 1981.

These images were produced using a Wolverine F2D-8 slide & negative scanner.
Click on the photos to view larger images.

The Red Banner of the USSR atop the Grand Kremlin Palace.
On the right is the Annunciation Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin

The Grand Kremlin Palace. Note the flags of Soviet Republics on the lower portion of the roof.
The “CCCP” and Soviet State Emblem were removed in 1991.

The Lenin Mausoleum with ceremonial decorations on the Kremlin Wall.

Posted in and so on..., marxism, Russia, USSR | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on The Unseen USSR: Red Square and the Kremlin, 1981

The Unseen USSR: Red Square, 1978

It’s the perfect marriage of my appreciation for Soviet-era ephemera and “found photos”: I have acquired a number of old 35 mm slides of photos by various and sundry unnamed world travelers, taken during the 1970s and 1980s. The collections I am currently sorting through include hitherto unpublished scenes from the USSR and Eastern Europe.

Below are some newly discovered photos of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, taken during a tourist’s visit to Moscow in 1978. The colors have faded, but there is a lingering charm in these images, as they were captured in the midst of an era in which many westerners were taught to regard the Soviet Union as a closed and unwelcoming frontier.

Click on the photos to view larger images.

The images above were produced using a Wolverine F2D-8 slide & negative scanner.

Lots more to come…

Posted in Cold War, communism, marxism, Russia, Stalin, zilch | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on The Unseen USSR: Red Square, 1978

The recyclable (and compostable) Trump

Chalk it up to my wistful yearning for the way things used to be, but I still buy vintage news magazines at thrift stores and garage sales and read them like they’re relevant and fresh. A recent haul included a bunch of Smithsonian magazines and issues of Time from the early 1980s through the early 1990s. While working my way through that batch of periodicals, I was pleasantly surprised to find a gem of an item in the “Milestones” section of the October 7, 1991 issue of Time in which the magazine’s editors showed that they had Donald Trump’s number decades before anyone could have even conceived that he would someday ascend to the office of Chief Executive.

generic trump

“Stay tuned for an update.” This joker is President now. There’s your update, America.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on The recyclable (and compostable) Trump

Mostar before the war

A couple of months ago, I acquired a large collection of 35 mm slides from an online seller who apparently specializes in estate liquidation. The collection appears to have belonged to a family from Austria and many of the slides are from their vacations in Europe in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some of the images show interesting landmarks and landscapes, while others depict little more than the simple pleasures of an adventurous and happy family.

One particularly interesting group of photos depict the Stari Most (Old Bridge) in the Herzegovina village of Mostar during the family’s visit to the area in 1970. Croat forces destroyed the 16th century landmark in 1993 during the Bosnian War. Stari Mostar was eventually rebuilt and restoration work was completed in 2004.

There are, of course, many photos of Stari Most from before the Bosnian War and after, but the images in my “Austrian collection” have a certain charm and mystique. They capture memories of a world that has changed dramatically in a relatively short period of time, as seen and experienced by enthusiastic and appreciative visitors.

Below are the best of my Mostar slides. They reflect the photographic technology of the day and the overall quality of the images seems to have eroded a bit with age. I didn’t attempt to enhance the colors, but where necessary I have retouched some of the images slightly to remove dirt and the most apparent signs of the physical deterioration of the slides.

“Urlaub 70” (Vacation 70); Mostar
photographer unknown

“Urlaub 70” (Vacation 70); Mostar

“Urlaub 70” (Vacation 70); Mostar

“Urlaub 70” (Vacation 70); Mostar
photographer and subject unknown

“Urlaub 70” (Vacation 70); Mostar

“Urlaub 70; Fährt nach Mostar” (Vacation 70; Drive to Mostar)

The images above were produced using a Wolverine F2D-8 slide & negative scanner.

Posted in Balkans, Forgotten photos, social sciences | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Mostar before the war