Political dinner parties, overcrowded village schools and a cotton bale gift

Dinner party. Source: PhotoSoyuz/Vostock-Photo

Dinner party. Source: PhotoSoyuz/Vostock-Photo

RBTH turns the clock back a century and shines a light on the now-forgotten stories being reported on the inside pages of Russian newspapers in 1915 and the events and processes occupying the minds of the Russians of the age. Travel back in time with us week by week for a sense of what life was like in the twilight days of the Russian Empire.

Dinner parties at the Slavic Committee

Starting next week, the Council of the Moscow Slavic Committee will be holding regular dinner parties to discuss the politics of the Slavic world. Scheduled to appear will be Slavophiles, various political and public figures, representatives of the Slavic nations, lawmakers, etc.

The first dinner party will focus on the issue of Bulgaria.   

Moskovsky Listok, October 12, 1915


Foreign capital                                        

Our correspondent reports the new Interior Minister said in passing: “I’m not against capital in general; what I’m opposed to is the unreasonable dominance of capital: Today we are talking about German capital, tomorrow it will be English, and the day after tomorrow, some other, but it is still foreign capital which comes with requirements that are incompatible with the demands of Russia’s rational development.” In this regard, one wonders exactly how much foreign money was invested in Russian industrial enterprises before the war.

Apparently, the investments coming from the United Kingdom totaled 96 million rubles, those from Belgium amounted to 115 million rubles, with 150 million more coming from France and 23 million from Germany.

Nasha Gazeta, October 13, 1915


Schools packed in Kharkov

According to the Kharkov county authorities, the region has had to deal with an unprecedented number of children willing to enroll in schools this year. This is in fact a wider trend concerning the whole governorate: Village populations want to study. Several schools have reportedly been forced to accept 50 and 115 new pupils instead of the planned 15 and 50 respectively — and this was despite the fact that only children aged from 9 to 11 were accepted, with 8-year-olds being denied enrollment. The Kharkov county council requested 9,000 rubles from the government to open 15 new classes in local schools.

Novoye Vremya, October 15, 1915


Presenting the first ever exhibition of Russian-produced agricultural machines

The aim of the exhibition is to demonstrate the achievements of Russian agricultural equipment enterprises and determine if they are capable of satisfying the demand of Russia’s agricultural sector. The issue is all the more important since the imports of foreign agricultural machines have been halted. The demand for this kind of machines has been rising this year. Plows and other tillage equipment were represented especially well at the exhibition, with over 60 different machines displayed.

Torgovo-Promyshlennaya Gazeta, October 16, 1915


From England with love: The ‘first cotton bale’ delivered to Russia

An unusual but exceptional gift has been delivered to Russia from England. It was this year’s first bale of cotton. According to a rather old English custom, the first bale of American cotton that is delivered to Liverpool is auctioned off. This year, the first bale was sold for a few hundred guineas. The money was given to the British Red Cross Society.

Russkoye Slovo, October 18, 1915

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