IRON CURTAIN AUDIO-VISUAL TECHNOLOGY
The road to audio-visual domination was a rocky one for the U.S.S.R. They switched all their spies in France, England, and the U.S.A. from spying on Atomic research areas to spying on audio-visual corporations like Bell and Howell, Elmo, Buhl, and Dukane. Russian scientist Dr. Boris Nastekovitch remembers Stalin's reaction to seeing the plans for a Soviet film strip projector: "He was like a mad man... "Bigger, BIGGER!" He wanted us to build the biggest film projector ever made. We started to work on such a device, the reels were the size of a six story apartment building."
"Chetkin" was the icon that the government used on all material concerning audio-visual.

Work also began on what became the only real results of this endeavour into world audio-visual domination - The Rocket and The Chetnic.

The Rocket was huge. Set on a railway flat car, The Rocket could project onto passing clouds. Stalin laughed at the fact that American children had to go to schools to all crowd around a small film strip projector. With the Rocket, children could learn while being industrious in the fields of the motherland, periodically glancing up at passing clouds to study multiplication tables, party policy, or a quick history lesson about the October Revolution. The Rocket was a wonder to see in action.

Unfortunately, Stalin's interest started to shift back to the domination of space. What caused this sudden shift in thinking? Could it have been the incredible costs of replacement lamps? The fact that there were not may places east of the Urals that had electricity to power the projector? The answer is that Stalin finally realized that audio-visual technology was an area of septic backwater. The future was in sending small dogs into the stratosphere. And those small dogs would be Soviet dogs.

The Rocket was the largest of the "Long Throw" projectors that came off of the Soviets drawing board. Fifteen "Rockets" were manufactured and were set on railway flat cars and used in long distance education. Party slogans were projected on to clouds where thousands of people could see it. Drawing of human operator at back of unit shows approximate size of projector.

....And so ends the story of the story of the short lived trappings of Soviet audio-visual endeavours. Just imagine what could have been, a world where every night, when looking at the moon, we would see a hammer and sickle and not just a big hunk of cheese.

- Alex Solunac

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