First Model Press

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

First Model Press


(full name, A. A. Zhdanov First Model Press; in Russian, Pervaia Obraztsovaia Tipografiia Im. A. A. Zhdanova), one of the largest printing houses in the USSR.

Located in Moscow, the First Model Press was established in 1876 by the Russian publisher I. D. Sytin. It printed numerous cheap popular color prints, songbooks, inexpensive editions of Russian classics, The Universal Russian Calendar, and tear-off wall calendars. It also printed textbooks and encyclopedias for general use. The workers at the press took part in the general printers’ strikes of September 1903 and September 1905 and in the armed uprising of December 1905. During the Great October Socialist Revolution, the press printed Bolshevik leaflets and appeals. In November 1919 the printing house was nationalized, and in 1948 it was named after A. A. Zhdanov.

The First Model Press specializes in mass editions of books, employing the letterpress and offset printing methods. It has the first computer typeset operation in the USSR, using the Minsk-22 computer. Methods used are photocomposition, electronic color correction and plate engraving, automated production lines for complex manufacture of books and brochures, and computers for regulating production.

The printing house produces 15,000 typeset sheets and 1.6 billion color reprints annually. Its publications include The Library of World Literature in 200 volumes. In 1974, 122 volumes of this series were published in cooperation with the Red Proletarian Press. The First Model Press also printed The Soviet Union in 22 volumes, an edition marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the USSR, and The Children’s Encyclopedia in ten volumes. Four volumes of this work were printed in 1974 in cooperation with the Kalinin Printing and Publishing Combine. In addition, the press printed the anniversary album The Soviet Union, awarded a gold medal at the Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy of the USSR (1972). The A. A. Zhdanov First Model Press has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1966).


[Zorev, L. K.] Pervaia obraztsovaia [tipografiia im. A. A. Zhdanova]. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.