Soviet brochure from Expo '58: "Come Visit the USSR! Soviet Women! Sputniks and Rockets!"

Here's a neat bit of paper ephemera: A brochure of the Soviet pavilion at Expo 58, also known as the Brussels World Fair—which was the first World Fair after World War II. The Soviet pavillion brochure includes period-perfect illustrations, a neat map, and promises of love 'n' leisure in the land of the Reds: "Sputniks and Rockets! Soviet Women!"

Scanned and published to Flickr by user Jericl Cat

(via BB Submitterator, via


  1. Is that a blond Astro Boy with her or the Ur-Calvin?

    I like the lino cut quality these have. Some of the others look like cocktail napkin illustrations.

  2. is it bad that the first thing i thought when i saw the bit about the north pole tent was “oh, hey, top gear wasn’t the first group to take cars to the north pole after all!” ?

  3. For me, as an American, the Soviet women, food, shelter, healthcare and lack of a plutocracy would have been the strongest selling points. The censorship and oligarchical bureaucracy, not so much.

  4. Old Times. I was there. The Sovient pavillion sign said URSS. I’ve always wondered if French could have been bent enough for the sign to say RUSS.

    The Automium is about the only thing left standing I think.

  5. It’s awesome but what strikes me is the technological bent. Sure, Sputnik would be a big draw, but the rest of the stuff? *I* think it all sounds awesome, yes, but it’s no surprise they threw in “soviet girls” as well :)

    And if there were such an exposition today, how very, very different it would be… no one would be interested in any of that kind of stuff. I guess I should look up what’s at the expo in Shanghai – all I’ve seen regarding that is the architecture (which is amazing) but not what’s actually at the various pavilions.

    1. I went to the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN and one of the Eastern Bloc countries (East Germany? Hungary?) had the focus of their pavilion be a more efficient form of air conditioning. It was actually on topic for the fair as the theme was energy conservation, but the pavilion was nearly empty — just not exciting enough, I guess.

  6. Most countries enticing tourists don’t try to make their women look harsh and severe. I guess the Soviets were going for the niche market that prefer women who don’t smile.

  7. Stalin managed to crush the avant-garde in literature and music and return these forms to crude nationalistic and militaristic themes, but the revolutionary graphic styles of constructivism and suprematism seemed to escape his dull vision and became the national aesthteic format for graphis design.

  8. In a country where women are given credit for their intelligence this ad may have been directed not at men but at the women themselves. The attitude of this comment displays how lacking some cultures are.

    for the small-brained an example: “SOVIET MEN” would this be directed only at the female populace?

  9. Except that on the “visitor’s route” suggested on the map, women are dead last at location 12. The savvy visitor could visit “Soviet Women” before “Sport and Leisure”- then “Children” and “Education” follow logically.

Comments are closed.