Lace lingerie, materialistic coachmen and rumors of vodka for sale

A Christmas postcard, 1910s.

A Christmas postcard, 1910s.

Open sources
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.

A writers' play

The second writers' play yesterday was very smooth and animated. The public constantly emphasized its interest with friendly laughter and applause. One rehearsal was sufficient to remove any technical irregularities from the first performance.

In general, both plays showed how important it is for writers to try their talents on stage. Their thoughtfulness is manifested in the variety, in the subtlety of the intonations that often disappears in the actors' ashen performance.

Birzheviye Vedomosti, December 15, 1915                                                  

An exhibition of women's work

Today a free exhibition of works was inaugurated in the building of the society for spreading practical knowledge among educated ladies. It contains an interesting section of hats and a rich section with lace undergarments with stitching made by the students. Also beautiful are the students' embroidery works created from their own designs, especially the satin embroidery. The artistic coloring of porcelain is exceptionally memorable.

Vremya, December 16, 1915                                                        

Day after day

It would be a good idea to establish a pedestrian society in Penza, whose members would give a solemn oath never to use coachmen's services. Perhaps this would be the only way to regulate the "coachman issue." There is a tariff for coach rides, but the tariff is implemented only if the rides are to the police precinct. Experienced people do precisely that:

"Coachman, to the nearest police precinct!"

There he will be explained that he can charge the client only the established tariff, and not anything above that.

Chernozem, December 17, 1915

Gold and vodka

Sensational rumors are spreading throughout the region that the sale of vodka is now permitted, but only for a gold coin (the sale of alcohol was banned in the Russian Empire from 1914 onward – RBTH).

The temptation was so great that the peasants collected their hidden gold and went to town for vodka. But here they were bitterly disillusioned: They were told how ridiculous the rumors were and that they must exchange the gold for state credit vouchers.

Chernozem, December 18, 1915

Christmas bazaar

The Christmas bazaar in the Artistic Salon is doing really well. Many people visited it yesterday and today. The public is particularly attracted to the lottery with a wagon of firewood as the main prize. Stands organized by national and other organizations are actively selling their goods. This evening the first cabaret concert will be staged with the potential participation of many popular Moscow actors. Tomorrow evening, before the closing of the bazaar, there will be a big concert with a gypsy choir.

 Vremya, December 19, 1915

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