Wonderful Interwar Map of Warsaw.
Detailed color-lithographed map of Warsaw issued by the famous Polish publisher and train station kiosk operator, RUCH.
The map has an inset at the bottom showing a railway station. The map marks the main parts of city transport infrastructure, including city and intercity buses.
Of additional interest are the overprinted ads for the resellers of American and English cars. As RUCH specialized in printing advertising, it is no wonder they printed some of the maps with ads from their clients to cover the costs of printing the map. This map has ads of representatives of Essex, Hudson, Brockway, Morris Motors, and Morris Commercial. The sales representative offices are shown as car silhouettes. Also on the back of the front cover and on the map itself, there are some ads of the Syrena cargo company – in the form of a small carriage that crosses the Vistula river.
Pre-World War II Warsaw was striving for rapid development despite nationwide financial struggles, high illiteracy rates, and recent military conflicts. Warsaw, the capital of the Second Polish Republic (1918-1939) had high unemployment rates and many people living in poverty: in 1932 a third of all the factory workers were unemployed. This makes the ads for foreign cars especially remarkable: few citizens were able to afford them.
Ruch (RUCH Polish Society of Rail Book-houses) started as a private enterprise in 1918 and is still functioning today. It started from a railway kiosk and by 1935 it managed over 700 kiosks across all major Polish train stations and other traffic points. The person behind the RUCH success was Jewish businessman Jakub Mortkowicz who committed suicide in 1931 as RUCH faced financial difficulties.
Interwar Warsaw witnessed the rise of Polish culture, including promoting the culture of ethnic minorities through periodicals, books, theatres. The most important Warsaw buildings are shown pictorially: mostly these are museums and churches, including the famous "Wielka Synagoga" - one of the biggest synagogues in the world. It was blown up by the Germans after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.
According to WorldCat, RUCH was printing similar Warsaw maps from the early 1920s to the late-1930s. This map can be dated as printed between 1921 and 1931 as it shows the railway Średnicowy bridge in the process of building – it was finished in 1931. As Morris Commercial brand is mentioned, it’s possible to narrow the possible printing date of the map to 1925-1931.
The booklet has a list of streets, tram routes, and some point of interest addresses.
Such maps are rare and rarely seen outside Poland, even in institutions.