NP: NP, 1969. Original photographs. Hardcover. Oblong Quarto (8 1/2 x 12"). 20 leaves with 110 original photographs in variant sizes (2 3/4 x 4" / 3 1/2 x 5 1/4" / 4 x 6"), mounted to stiff black paper in groups of one to four photos per page. Original string bound yellow leatherette with hand-colored ornamentation in gilt and blue.
Photographic documentation of the establishment of a department store of the Kosum Cooperative in 1969 East Germany, leading up to the 20th Anniversary of the German Democratic Republic. The Konsum Cooperative had been established in December 1945. Three years later 300 different cooperatives existed to satisfy the needs of the population. The larger stores and supermarkets in urban areas were called Kaufhalle while rural areas were supplied by consumer cooperatives. Supermarkets were also established near larger factories while rural areas often were supplied by busses delivering groceries to the villages. In the 1950s there was even a Kosum-ship named "Kambala" supplying inland sailors. In the 1950s the chain grew exponentially and in 1959 the graphic designer Karl Thewalt created a logo for the cooperative, consisting of a industrial chimney and a curved sickle representing a capital K, seen in various photographs in this album.
The album shows the construction, upgrading a supermarket, shown in one photograph with the old exterior neon sign "Einkaufshalle," into a department store that includes a supermarket and a shoe store on two floors. The new neon sign reads "Konzentra" referring to the concentration of departments housed in this two story department store. The first twenty pictures show the construction crew setting up the new walls and display cases followed by another twenty photographs showing the stocked display cases, the employees and the supermarket in operation, including customers and pictures of the exterior with the new signage, and four additional photographs of the completed shoe department. Additional fourteen photographs show a group of men during a reception, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Otto Winzer, and a shot of the exterior looking at the window display including the signage reading "20 Jahre DDR."
The second half of the album is designated to the construction and final version of a home appliance shop with fifty-two photos, samples of the construction, the completed store, including exterior photos with neon signage reading "Küchen- Konsum Ausstatter (Kitchen Konsum Outfitter)," and an official reception. The photographs were taken to record the process of modernization, a true time capsule, capturing the "state of the art" development of the East German economy behind the Iron Curtain at a time when the burden of war reparations to the Soviet Union had eased and the GDR started to be recognized as a sovereign country.
Minor wear and rubbing of covers. Very good+ condition. Item #47128