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«MISS USSR» G. Friedrich, 1936

Среда, 22 Августа 2007 г. 10:27 + в цитатник
 
SOVIET SKETCHES №1
G. FRIEDRICH
«MISS U.S.S.R.»
The Story of DUSYA VINOGRADOVA
CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING SOCIETY OF FOREIGN WORKERS IN THE U.S.S.R.
MOSCOW 1936
   Passenger train No. 74, which took us from Moscow to the little textile town of Vichuga in twelve hours, had hardly reached the Soviet textile centre of Ivanovo when the only subject of conversation among the passengers became the new record established by Dusya Vinogradova. They discussed the latest reports, recalled the premium given by the People’s Commissariat for Light Industry, argued about American records, until one involuntarily glanced out of the window to see if Dusya Vinogradova herself were not perhaps standing on the platform, ready to get into our train.
  

 The name of Dusya Vinogradova is now known not only throughout the length and breadth of the Soviet Union; the fame of her deeds has spread over the entire world. And today there are hundreds and thousands of the best shock-workers in the Soviet textile industry who proudly bear the title of “Vinogradovites.” Yet Evdokia Viktorovna Vinogradova — to give her her full naine — is only twenty-one. Maybe just because she is so young, and because all her fellow-workers like her so much, and all young people in the Soviet Union regard her as their friend, she is simply called Dusya. Dusya is well known, Dusya is famous, but her fame has nothing in common with the dubious and transient “fame” of a “Miss Europe.” Dusya might indeed be called a “Miss U.S.S.R.,” but only in the Soviet sense of this word; her fame and popularity are founded on her creative work.
   Dusya is a Soviet girl. When you see her—free, happy tind light-hearted—when you talk to her and hear how simply she tells of her record-breaking work taking it all as a matter of course, when you have watched her at work and seen the hundreds of others who emulate her methods, you will recall Stalin’s words about the Stakhanovites, where he says:
   “And, indeed, look at our comrades, the Stakhanovites, more closely. What type of people are they? They are mostly young or middle-aged working men and women, people with culture and technical knowledge, who show examples of precision and accuracy in work, who are able to appreciate the time factor in work and who have learnt to count not only the minutes, but also the seconds.”
   These words of Stalin’s find their living confirmation in Dusya and her workmates.
 
Vichuga and Its Textile Industry
   Old Vichuga seems to have been a Finnish village in prehistoric times. An interesting document has come down to us from the year 1642, showing that the production of textiles in this place also dates back to quite remote times. This document is a petition from Oleshka Otyayev to the tsar Michael Romanov, making a complaint against Vassily Golovin. “On Whitsunday,” writes Otyayev, “I was driving home front Vichuga Fair when the said Vassily Golovin with his people and peasants overtook me in Semyonovo, the estate of Tyapkin, set upon me and began to rob me; they beat me, threw me to the ground, so that I lost my senses, and robbed me of 20 rubles belonging to my lord, and of cloth and linen to the value of 10 rubles. The said cloth and linen I had bought for my lord, Vassily Petrovich, to equip him for his service in Siberia.”
   It would thus seem that the inhabitants of Vichuga were already occupied in selling cloth and linen in the first half of the seventeenth century at their “Whitsun Fair,” well-known in later days for the considerable trade done there. This fair remained an institution in Vichuga until quite recent times.
   In the nineteenth century Vichuga was in the possession of the rich landlord Tatishchev. The old mansion with its marble columns is standing to this clay, having been turned into a reading-room after the October Revolution, The park is likewise kept up, as is also a round pond with an island in the middle, the work of Vichuga serfs in the old days.
   The chains stretched across the village market place and the old market stalls still bear witness to the extensive trade done in the former centre of the Vichuga district. As for the present Nogin Mill, its history goes back to the beginning of the nineteenth century.
   In 1812 Pyotr Konovalov, a peasant serf belonging to the landlord Krushchev, and ancestor of the factory-owner Konovalov, opened a weaving and dyeing works with hired labourers, for the dyeing of the so-called “Kitaika” cloth.
   His son introduced steam power, and soon the business done by the Vichuga Mill…
[утрачено 11 строк]
…one of the hundred textile mills of the Ivanovo-Voznesensk textile area.
   It is no accident that the textile industry should have taken root in this region. The rich capitalists of tsarist days chose to build their factories here, though the raw material, cotton, had to be brought from thousands of miles away. The first textile mills arose here because it was here that labour power was cheapest. The soil here is poor; the population could only eke out a miserable existence by agriculture, and many of them were unemployed. This “surplus” population offered cheap labour power for the factory-owners to exploit. Such was the basis for the rise of the textile industry under tsarism. It took Soviet rule to bring this industry into a really flourishing state, and to create such types of people as Dusya and her fellow-workers.
   Vichuga itself has a population of 38,000 inhabitants, of whom 15,000 are employed in the textile industry — 7,000 in the Nogin Mill alone.
 
“The Birthplace of the Vinogradova Method”
   As you enter the factory gates at the Nogin Textile Mill in Vichuga, you will see the following words, written in flaming red letters: “Here is the Birthplace of the Vinogradova Method.”
   Only two years back the Nogin Mill was one of those that had not yet learnt to fulfil its plan completely. Today, it is numbered among the best, among the very first plants of the Soviet Union. Whence this remarkable change? The mill manager, Comrade Panov, once a textile worker himself, transferred straight from the machine to his present responsible post, gives us the answer to this question. “We had unskilled workers.” he tells us. “Our Party and trade union organizations functioned badly, didn’t pay enough attention to problems in the mill. The conditions in which the workers lived, culturally and socially, were not up to much. These were the reasons why we fulfilled our plan by only 80 per cent, why the quality of our output was not up to standard. That was where we had to start from. We have done much since then — given technical training to the workers, strengthened the technical staff of the mill, and above all, paid the greatest attention to cultural questions and to improving the workers’ material conditions of life. We began getting better raw material, too — cotton of improved quality. In short, all the necessary conditions for better work were created. And then Vinogradova came along, showing by her example that more and better work could be done.”
   The Nogin Mill is a big plant. Day and night the long high shops of the mill are filled with the deafening clatter of 2,350 looms. These 2,350 looms, similar in make to the English Northrop machine but now mostly of Soviet construction, yielded the mill about thirty-five million metres of woven fabric last year. And thus the mill which is the birthplace of the Vinogradova method not only fulfilled its program for 1935 ahead of time, but even surpassed the planned figure.
 
A Matter of Honour and Glory
   In capitalist society the worker will never exert his full strength and energies to increase the productivity of his labour. Under capitalism the worker sells his labour power to the capitalist for money. Under capitalism work is not free, and the worker is the slave of his employer. Only with the coming of socialist society, only under the conditions of the Soviet system, has labour acquired a new character, creating new conceptions of proletarian honour and glory.
   We do not need to look far for contrasts. Dusya’s mother was a weaver, too. She worked 26 years in the mill — in the same mill as her daughter — but in those days it still belonged to the rich Russian capitalist, Konovalov. Dusya’s mother used to work 10 hours a day, and her wages averaged 7 rubles a month. The mill workers were crowded together in wretched living barracks, damp and dirty. ‘In the old days, Dusya’s mother will tell you, “thirty people used to eat out of one dish in the factory canteen. And there was a notice stuck up at the entrance to the park, saying: ‘No dogs or low persons admitted.’ “And today? In return for her exemplary work Dusya has been given a two-room apartment, with kitchen, entrance hall, electric light, telephone, etc., in one of the new workers’ apartment houses put up by the mill. Here she lives with her mother, and her workmates are equally well provided for. Marusya Vinogradova, her namesake, lives by herself, so she has been given a single well-furnished room in one of the “communal houses” belonging to the mill. Dusya’s mother could slave away at her job as much as she pleased, without ever benefiting herself. Whereas Dusya already has an income of more than 800 rubles a month, and she only pays 23 rubles rent for her apartment — heat, light and telephone included. For workers under capitalism, the factory is just a hell, as it was for Dusya’s mother, the machines are enemies, work is a yoke. For Dusya, Marusya and all the millions of people in the U.S.S.R., work is a joy; they love the machines and factories, for the machines are their machines, the factories their factories.
   This and this alone explains why Dusya, on reading the letter written by Lyubimov, People’s Commissar for Light Industry, about the need lo increase production in the textile industry, regarded this letter as addressed to her direct. After first taking over 40 machines — the regular assignment was 24 — she and her brigade started work on 70 automatic looms. The management of the mill took all steps to enable Vinogradova to tend her 70 looms successfully. The best yarn was provided, the best loom-fixers were put on the job, the technical staff was carefully checked over, and all the machines thoroughly overhauled and renovated. In addition, the efficiency of the machines was raised by putting into effect certain inventions made by the mill workers themselves.
   Dusya did not disappoint her comrades’ expectations. Working on 70 looms, she turned out 710 metres of cloth a shift. Every day she overfulfilled her plan. But 70 looms were not enough for her. She wanted to go further. No sooner did People’s Commissar Lyubimov hear about the splendid achievements of this young woman textile worker of Vichuga, than he wrote straight off to her in an enthusiastic letter. Not without excitement Dusya read these lines of his, in which her work was highly appreciated and rewarded with a substantial cash premium. The People’s Commissar held her up as an example to the other workers throughout the whole textile industry, He wrote about the tasks confronting the country, about the need to increase output, and said that her methods would successfully ensure the carrying out of these tasks. And Dusya immediately answered, promising to do still better work and to raise her standard of output still higher. On October 1 she and her brigade took over 100 machines. Their example was followed by Marusya Vinogradova and, soon after, by Odintsova, a woman weaver in the nearby Bolshevik Textile Mill.
   How are we to explain this? Is Dusya some kind of genius? Of course not! Dusya’s case is no longer an isolated one by any means. Her labour achievements, her labour enthusiasm have taken hold of hundreds and thousands of others. In the Nogin Mill alone, which works three shifts, there are three brigades — those of Dusya and Marusya Vinogradova and of the other woman weaver Podoblayeva—which tend no less than 216 machines each, while no weaver iii this mill tends less than 50 machines, and the majority tend 100. Almost the whole mill has now adopted the Vinogradova method of work. Today, Dusya is only one of many. Her exemplary work has fired others to emulate her.
   At first glance it would seem almost incredible that one woman weaver should practically control 216 machines. Indeed, when you consider that there are 2,600 threads running on each automatic loom, that the weaver thus has more than 600,000 threads under her charge, that, theoretically, any one of these threads may break and thus bring the automatic machine to a standstill, this achievement seems incredible, superhuman. But is it such a conundrum, after all? Naturally, such an achievement can be partly explained by first-class technique. But only partially so. If Dusya Vinogradova and the thousands who employ her methods were not highly skilled workers, if they were not actuated by the desire to be worthy citizens of their great proletarian country, if their work were not made the object of special attention on the part of the mill management, if the group of workers who aid the weavers were not intimately bound up with them and their work—then all this technique would be of no avail. Dusya’s work proves the correctness of Stalin’s famous saving, which inspired the Stakhanov movement in the U.S.S.R.: “Without people who have mastered technique, technique is dead. Technique in the charge of people who have mastered technique can and should perform miracles.”
 
How She Does It
   Dusya goes to work. She enters the shop with a light, swinging stride. The 216 machines make a deafening din. She relieves the woman weaver Podoblayeva, whose shift is just over. The automatic looms do not stop running for a second, as the evening shift is replaced by the night shift. The four loom-fixers are at their posts; each has 54 machines under his supervision, and their job is to cope with minor accidents that may occur during the shift. Here are the four bobbin girls whose job is to keep the spindles supplied with bobbins; here are the two tiers, Dusya’s closest aides, each of whom looks after 108 machines, their job being to cope with bad breaks in the thread, to remedy which more time is required. Besides this, there are two warpers who have special charge of the warp. This brigade of twelve, working together in friendly harmony under Dusya’s leadership, seems almost lost in the huge 300-metre-long shop.

   The looms are set up in eight ranks, divided by a large aisle down the middle. Try to imagine this vast shop with its 28 big windows. The 216 “Northrops” keep up such a roar that no human voice can make itself heard. Dusya, slim and light-footed, clad in a black silk blouse and skirt, passes swiftly between the looms, going from one to the next. It seems uncanny at first. How can this little woman weaver (and indeed she looks almost like a child among the 216 clattering machines) cope with all these mechanisms? But in a short time apprehension gives place to enthusiasm. Swiftly, with unwonted calm, the girl makes her way among the machine and her hands fly over them like birds. Deftly she ties up a broken thread, almost tenderly she strokes the reeds as though saying: “That’s right, keep on that way.” A scarcely perceptible sign, and the worker she needs comes hurrying up. Dusya points to a certain place in the warp, and the worker knows at once what she has to do. Dusya is well acquainted with every detail in the automatic loom. But that is not all. She knows the peculiarities of each individual machine. With the glance of a great commander — for she really does remind you of a general on the field of battle — she surveys the giant mass of mechanism, swiftly intervenes wherever necessary. She contrives to be everywhere where she is wanted. Among all these 600,000 threads, she always finds the one that is broken and needs to he tied. Only her deft intuitive fingers could accomplish this. She moves quite quietly, without any haste. The shop belongs to her. She follows a fixed “line of march.” First she passes along the 108 looms on the left of the aisle, examining the woven fabric. Then along the 108 looms on the right, from the same side. She looks carefully at the weft, plucks out faulty spots here and there, and sets the looms going again where they have stopped. When she has come to the end of the last rank, she begins going back, examining the other side of the looms, with the warp. No loom is neglected. Each is tended in due order.
   Without any fuss or hurry, calmly but swiftly, she flits about among the ranks of machines.
   I glance up at the clock. Dusya has taken 25 minutes to review all her 216 looms…
   Some women workers peep curiously into the shop. But Dusya, it seems, has eyes for nothing outside her job. Her face is serious, her glance piercing. With marvellous quickness her fingers tie the knots (6 seconds are allowed for tying up one thread, but she ties two in 5-6 seconds); her eyes take in every detail of the loom, watchfully follow the movement of the shuttle. She examines the woven fabric and scans the welt critically through the reed.
   Now a bobbin falls to the floor and rolls across the central aisle. Dusya just nods to the bobbin girl, and the latter is after it at once.
   The “Northrops” hum and clatter.
   It’s a hard job to keep pace with Dusya! Her black dress was here only a moment ago, and now it appears at the opposite end of the shop.
   Six a.m. A shrill whistle brings the looms to a standstill. How quickly the din of the machines dies away! The shop grows dead. Dusya has hurried off for a meal in the factory dining-room. Without her, the looms seem dull and dreary. Lifeless iron, lifeless threads…
   Half an hour later the shop comes to life again. And then day dawns. The rays of the winter sun come stealing through the great windows. Beams of sunshine light up the portraits of Lenin and Stalin hanging at the entrance. Still surrounded by wisps of morning mist, the shop seems like some huge ship. And the helmsman of this ship is Dusya.
   And so Dusya, with only a half-hour break, pursues her “line of march” throughout the whole shift. She takes from 20 to 25 minutes to go her rounds once. And when the factory whistle signals the end of the shift, she comes over to me — who have been following her the whole night long like her own shadow — and points to the words written up at the end of the shop: “To Work like Vinogradova is Honour and Law for Every Worker!”
 
Good Wages for Good Work
Crossing the mill yard, we catch sight of a big board hung up before us, with portraits of Dusya and Marusya Vinogradova upon it. This is the board on which the “Vinogradovites” make their daily report.
   We find the following figures for the previous day:
 
No. of looms tended
Metres of fabric produced
Day’s earnings (in rubles)
Dusya
216
2,389
34.76
Marusya
216
2,379
33.36
Podsoblayeva
216
2,344
33.52
 
   Further we read that Bolshakova and Kharkova, each tending 148 looms, have produced 1,680 metres of fabric and earned about 25 rubIes, while Korolyeva, working on 140 machines, has produced 1,539 metres and earned 24 rubles.
   “So you see,” says Dusya to me, “the more we work, the more we earn. Here — take a look at my pay-book for this year. It’ll show you much clearer.”
   I glance through this interesting little book, whose figures convincingly prove the increasing well-being of the Soviet country and of each individual worker. Look at the following table of figures:
No. of looms tended
Production per shift (in metres)
 
Earnings per day (in rubles)
Earnings per month
24
259
8.19
205
40
417
10.95
274
55
515
13.46
337
100
1,022
20.30
508
140
1,431
25.55
639
216
2,389
34.76
869
 
   The income rises in proportion as output increases. Eight hundred and sixty-nine rubles — that is Dusya’s present monthly income. Stalin’s words about the steady improvement in the material situation of the workers being one of the conditions necessary for the rise of the Stakhanov movement find their confirmation here too. But it is not only Dusya’s wages that have increase; those of her fellow-workers have risen in the same proportion.
   “We live well, and that enables us to work well,” writes Dusya in her letter to the Prague Rote Fahne. “We work in our own mill, we work for ourselves, without any bosses, for our country, and also for you workers in capitalist countries, and that is why we are able to tend such a large number of looms. We know how to work well, and we also know how to enjoy ourselves in a cultural way, to study, to raise our level of culture.”
 
Dusya’s Own Story
  “How do I work? I always come ten or fifteen minutes before the shift starts, and if it’s the morning shift, I prepare the looms for work. Then I begin going my rounds. But if I’m taking over from Maria or Katya, I begin by going over all the looms with them. I always make a point of going my rounds before the beginning of the shift.
   “I now have 216 machines to look after — and that’s plenty. First, I check the quality of the fabric, then the warp. In checking the quality of the fabric, I can see how each loom is working, which mechanism wants watching, which loom requires special attention. When I examine the fabric, I look out for the way the bobbins are set. It’s best when the bobbin is set on three notches, otherwise it’s liable to break off.
   “Then I go to examine the warp. I see whether the reed apparatus is working properly.
   “What do I do when I come to two machines opposite each other, both out of action? I take a look to see which can be set going first with greater advantage, and then set that one going again. In general, I keep going very fast as I make my rounds.
   “If you’re tending many looms at once, you have to be quick at finding the broken threads in the yarn. I have thought out the following method: I lean over from the front side of the loom and pass my hand over the reeds from above. I can feel with the palm of my hand where the thread is broken and where the reed has sunk, and that’s the place where the end of the thread must he looked for.
   “I’ve learnt to tie the knots well and quickly. It’s only a small operation, but it saves a tremendous lot of time.
   “I know the mechanism of the loom inside out. I’ve studied all its parts and the way they dovetail into one another. That’s very important. If the loom doesn’t function, I know the reasons for it at once, and can tell the loom-fixer what to do. But if it’s only a slight flaw, I remedy it by myself. I fix a broken reed, adjust the weft fork, and so on.
   “I find it very interesting to work on 216 machines. It fills me with enthusiasm to see all these scores of looms obeying my will. It’s thrilling.
   “From now on we’re putting main emphasis on quality and on lowering the cost of the fabric. The plant must be used to the full. We must get every loom to give us all it can. We haven’t worked up to that yet. But we’re striving to do it.
   “My workmates, the brigade that works with me in my shift, do all they can to help me. Without assistants, of course, no weaver could possibly tend 216 looms, even automatic ones. I have special assistants who do nothing hut look after the bobbins, refill the chases, and tie up the weft threads when they break. Then there are other assistants who see that the looms are set right, and others again who look after both the warp and the weft. I have twelve persons working with me in my shift. Besides this, there are special workers who clean and oil the machines, generally between shifts.
   “The weaver, of course, bears the main responsibility. She is leader of the brigade. People often ask me what the ‘secret’ of my method is. It is simply the ‘line of march’ which I follow. What do I mean by this ‘line of march’? I’ll explain by giving you an example. Let’s suppose the warp thread breaks on loom 181, and at that moment I have only reached loom 65. According to the old method of work, I should have run across from loom 65 to loom 181 to tie up the broken thread. But now, when I’m working according to the Stakhanov method, I don’t do that any more. I just leave loom 181 for the moment, and go on quietly, without any fuss or hurry, from 65 to 66 and so on till I reach 181 in due course. I keep strictly to my ‘line of march,’ regardless of whether a machine has stopped or not. You might think that with this system the machines would not be used to the full, but that’s only what appears on the surface. Formerly, the weaver used to go running around from one loom to another, tying up the broken threads. She had to tire herself out, and yet she couldn’t tend as many looms as at present. Now I concentrate on avoiding breaks in the thread in advance. In this way Marusya and I have reduced breaks from an average of 0.60 per cent to from 0.10 to 0.13 percent per metre of warp.”
   Such is Dusya’s own story. And indeed, when we listen to Dusya’s technical explanations, when we see her fiery zeal and affection for her job, we feel sure that such an achievement as hers could only have been accomplished by a worker who has really and truly “mastered technique” with flying colours.
 
The Northrop Loom
   What are these prodigious machines which enable the two Vinogradovas to tend no less than 216 of them at a time? They are not, of course, simple power looms such as those in use in most of the small textile mills of western Europe. The machines which the two Vinogradovas tend, and which can be seen in all Soviet textile mills, are those of the completely automatic type known as the “Northrop loom.” This automatic loom is an English invention, but owing to its high price it is used only in mills with the most up-to-date equipment. Instead of expensive automatic machinery, the capitalists prefer to exploit the much cheaper labour power of human beings. They force the weaver to tend an ever greater number of the old looms, i.e., to adopt the “stretch-out” system.
   Every Northrop loom has individual electric drive, so that the weaver is not hampered at her job by any network of transmission belts. The loom is so constructed that it stops of its own accord when the warp thread breaks. Besides this, there is a chase holding 12 or 24 bobbins; the shuttle automatically takes a fresh bobbin when the old one is unwound. The machine also ties the weft thread of its own accord. All that is required is to refill the chase with fresh bobbins from time to time. A question of great importance is the loom’s speed of working. With the old power looms, the speed had to be reduced when a weaver was set to tend a greater number of looms. The Northrop loom, on the other hand, does not require this, for its speed of work depends solely on the type of fabric that is being woven. The Vinogradovas on their Northrop looms weave a cotton fabric of medium thickness, known in the textile world as “Moleskin— Standard 222 W.” In weaving this fabric, the loom makes 181 picks per minute.
   These few facts alone show that there is no comparison between the Northrop loom and the old power loom.



kurortomania   обратиться по имени Пятница, 10 Августа 2012 г. 04:31 (ссылка)
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