The Industry of Socialism

mosaic-map

The Industry of Socialism is a giant, 5.9×4.5-metre map of the Soviet Union made from more than 4,500 gemstones. It made its first appearance in 1937 at the Paris Exposition, where the Soviet and Nazi German pavilions squared off against one another. It subsequently appeared, with updates, at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. The map continued to be updated to reflect the USSR’s territorial expansion through the 1940s. Recently restored (its original textolite base was insufficent to the task of supporting the map’s three-ton weight, and has been replaced with Italian shale), it now resides at the A. P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI) in St. Petersburg.

Most of the pages about The Industry of Socialism are in Russian. The VSEGEI page is full of detail and photos and responds well to Google Translate; there are several LiveJournal entries that are based on this material. For pages in English, see this page and this page for photos, as well as this RT story. [Maps on the Web]

Author: Jonathan Crowe

I blog about maps at The Map Room, review books for AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, and edit a fanzine called Ecdysis.