Orders on soap packaging paper: some unusual finds of the Main Archive Department of Moscow

November 7, 2019
Social sector

Due to the shortage of writing paper during the Great Patriotic War, instructions and orders of the Kalinin Crystal Plant's officials were printed on colourful packaging paper. These documents were discovered by the Main Archive Department of Moscow's staff when they worked with the enterprise's holdings.

In the 1940s, the plant produced perfume and beauty products and special containers, operating during the war time, too. Since paper was in scarce supply, some documents were printed right on the wrappers. In particular, archivists have found an Order of 1942 printed on embossed paper with coloured drawings and gilding, a packaging for 'Sukhumi Magnolia' perfume, produced by Novata Zarya Factory, '20 years of the Internationale' soap and 'Chinese Fern' powder produced by TEZHE Factory.

According to these documents, the plant had a fire manned guarding, with training sessions held with fire volunteer group, air raid alert duty arranged, and workers sent to the labour front. Besides, children aged 14 to 16 worked at the enterprise along with the adults, and many of the workers, including women, joined the army.

The Main Archive Department of Moscow's experts say the documents have perfectly survived. Written 77 years ago, the text is legible, with the packaging paper having retained its rich colours.

Earlier, archivists discovered another document on an unusual medium. There is an Order in the local industry association’s fund of the Kalinin district of Moscow printed on a colourful propaganda poster for schoolchildren reading: 'Sit up straight during the lesson'. According to experts, such documents vividly characterise everyday life of that time.

Source: mos.ru

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