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Description

Vintage map of Moscow focusing on automobile infrastructure at the end of the 1960s.

The map shows some of the development of the city's automobile infrastructure: 105 gas stations, 32 official parking spots, a dozen of car repairs, and a small number of car parts shops. It was very rare that one drove a non-Soviet, foreign car in 1969: it was either a trophy German car or a status symbol owned by someone like Yuri Gagarin. So, as everything was state-owned and calculated, the government decided that this infrastructure was enough to cover the needs of the ordinary drivers. Additionally, the large map shows exits to the airports, city transport routes, hotels, metro stations, places for driving lessons, and state-owned service stations of the country's automobile manufacturers. Overall, driver-wise, Moscow was much more developed than any other Soviet city.

Taking aside the noted infrastructure, it's interesting to look at the carefully planned road junctions. The city's largest circle road - MKAD - was opened in 1962 and from 1964 to the 1980s it was still the official city border. Soviet structure and consistent city planning with two major Moscow Genplan reconstructions were able to create a road system that serves millions of cars daily today. The introduction of MKAD, together with the growing number of personal car owners, was most probably why this schematic map was issued: earlier maps tend to focus more on city transport.

or decades much of the history of the Soviet Union, automobiles were regarded as luxuries. After the monetary reform of 1961, the cheapest cart available was ZAZ-965 that was priced at 1800 roubles - 21x average salaries of that era, and a better GAZ-21 "Wolga" was priced at 5600 roubles - 78x the average salary. Nevertheless, thanks to scrupulous Soviet statistics, we know that in the whole country of over 230,000,000 citizens there were: 89,700 taxis, 46,400 company-owned cars, 1,395,300 personal cars - and over one million state-owned trucks. Cars were produced yearly according to state plans, but 40% of them were exported. Supposing that 10% of the fleet at least occasionally was driving through Moscow, it brings the number of the car drivers interested in such a brochure to ca. 250,000 - not comparable to 3.8 million cars registered in Moscow today. 

At the bottom, the map includes insets showing four intricate junctions and a plan of the direction of driving and highway exits of Moscow in general.

Artistically, the map uses a functional, utilitarian design that is characteristic of the Brezhnev Era. 

Rarity

Rare institutionally. WorldCat locates 1 copy in the Library of Congress. From an initial edition of 150,000.

Condition Description
Folding map. Some spots on the cover and top right corner of the map, restoration of the paper loss at the top margin.