Break virgin lands!
V. Livanova, 1954
There was a time they loved an accordionist, and now the time has come when they love a tractor driver.
A Russian proverb
Here is another poster which proclaims developing of virgin land as main means of agricultural boosting declared by Nikita Khrushchev . The slogan says: “Break virgin lands” and is accompanied by a short quatrain:
These lands are priceless.
Year by year
We should raise more and more
Grain for people.
Before the Revolution tractors were scarce as peasants did not have property rights on land they were cultivating and could not even dream about mechanization. And after the Revolution another problem occurred: the horses were all confiscated for army needs during the WW1 and the Civil War and the cows were all confiscated as a result of the War Communism policy. So when the whole thing settled down a bit, there were no draught means to plow and the peasants could not physically pull the plows themselves as during the war years the land became virgin. So in 1923 the first Soviet tractor “Zaporoshets” was built. It was an unsophisticated machine with three wheels, no cabin and torque engine, which worked on crude oil. The tractor was very simple to service and operate and it did play a great role in agricultural development of the country.
The caterpillar-tractor on the poster is the most popular model of the fifties called “Stalinets – 80”. It was named after Stalin like many other things in the
This is why tractors were always a kind of a fetish for Soviet propaganda - it were these simple machines which paved the way to the Gagarin’s launch in space.