History of industrial design – Soviet faceted glass

Hello, let’s talk a little about the history of industrial design.

I was born in the Soviet Union. Many of you, reading these lines about the “red empire”, will have the association with Kalashnikov rifles, bears walking in the streets, and vodka. But this time I would like to talk about one household item without which any Soviet Union’s kitchen or catering establishment cannot be imagined – it is a faceted glass.

It was created back in the time of the Tsar, later improved and released for mass use in the fifth decade of the last century. The faceted glass became the embodiment and symbol of the Soviet peoples’ practicality, rationality and the symbol of the entire Soviet era. Faceted glasses were used everywhere: at homes, in the army, public catering institutions, hospitals, schools and kindergartens. You would find them on water vending machines. It is believed that 10 faceted glasses were produced for every Soviet citizen in the country. This is virtually the only household item that was not in shortage. There were so many of them and they were so long-lasting that faceted glasses, costing several dozen kopecks, can be easily found in the flea markets of Russia and the former Union states even today. Now Russia still produces about 10 million glasses a year. But the variety of modern, plastic counterparts will never compete with the popularity of Soviet glasses.

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