At the Museum of Local History of Omsk, visitors learned about the benefits of laziness –

“… People would be boring without being lazy.”

There are many instances in history when laziness was what pushed a person who neglected manual labor into an invention. If we continue to think further and delve deeper into the Soviet past, then memories of inventions and rationalization proposals will emerge. The Soviet system supported the rationalization proposals, especially those of the workers. Prizes were awarded for rationalization proposals. In factories and mills, the inventions rained down like corneas. In particular, it took the use of rationalization proposals in the field of reprocessing or adding to already built units, components and machinery. Sometimes by domestic inventors there were only losses and problems.

On April 26, an exhibition with an unusual title opened at the Omsk State Museum of Local History: “Laziness is the engine of progress or why we invent.” Perhaps the name served as a source of attraction for a large number of journalists in the exhibition. “Laziness is the machine of progress” is a series of poems “Laziness” by the poet Andrei Voznesensky. You may or may not agree with the hypothesis about the benefits of laziness. Everyone has their own opinion on this. This has its own logic.

The intention of the exhibition organizers is to raise the curtain on the history of inventions, from stone tools to modern digital devices. On display: hand mill, scythe, casting mold, woodworking tools, lighting fixtures, printing methods, audio transmitters, photographic equipment, as well as household appliances, electric samovars, kettles, Helios typewriter, German made in the early 20th century, o mi “Ellams Duplicator”, a cylinder with a perforated card for a mechanical piano, a TV and radio station “Belarus-5” and much more.

The exhibition “Laziness – the engine of progress, or why we invent” was inaugurated by Daria Viktorovna EROSEVSKAYA, Deputy Director of the Omsk State Museum of Local History. He said:

From ancient times the man wanted to invent things that would make it easier for him to work, to speed up the production process, to move and to surround himself with comfort. It is difficult to imagine modern life without technology and technology. Various gadgets, cars and home appliances have become a familiar part of our daily lives, on the one hand facilitating, on the other hand requiring new knowledge, skills and abilities from us. Our exhibition work is devoted to a greater extent not to philosophical reflections, but to specific ideas about how human life has changed in history. At the same time, our exhibition should make visitors think: “So what drives progress: laziness or talent? “Why are we trying to invent something?” Everyone, having become familiar with the exhibits of our exhibition, will find an answer for themselves.“.

Objects from the museum’s box office were used for the exhibition, as well as several exhibits provided by the Omsk Regional Station “Young Technician”. This is not the first time that young craftsmen have participated in exhibitions held by the museum. The leadership of the local history museum awarded the head of the ship modeling cycle Vladimir Ivanovich DENISENKO with a letter of thanks.

A tour of the exhibition was conducted by Sergei Igorevich EGOROV. At the beginning of his trip, he quoted the words of Soviet and Russian psychiatrist Vladimir Lvovich LEVI: “Laziness is the mother of ingenuity.” Then Sergei Egorov continued:

However, it is not yet fully understood what drives progress. Apparently, the man was tired of walking – he invented the wheel. In our first kiosk – a hand mill, a potter’s wheel. Many researchers believe that they are the ancestors of the wheel. At the next stand – carpentry tools: planer, joint, hand drill. They have not lost their relevance even today. In the third base – spinning wheels for making yarn, flying bus, loom model. Antique sewing machine “Singer”, and next to it – a modern one“.

During the reign of Peter I, cast iron appeared in Russia:

They are presented in the exhibition in a large set. Irons are very popular in Germany. They are heated with alcohol and coals. In Russia, alcoholic irons are not widely used. But coal was used until the 1960s – especially in rural areas. They were replaced by electric irons“.

Sergey EGOROV approached the watch stand:

Everyone knows – this is a cuckoo clock. Near the pavilion with dishes. There are containers for water heating and cooking, as well as a samovar and teapots.“.

The central place in the exhibition is occupied by a bicycle. The tour guide noted:

It is now fashionable in youth. Of course, it is no longer the same as shown in the report, but a modern, improved one“.

With the advent of steam, locomotives also appeared, which were placed on steamships:

They presented us with a steamer model made in a mug at the “Neos Technikos” station.

In the 1920s, the streets in Omsk began to be lit with light bulbs:

Before that, they lit with kerosene lamps. We show not kerosene street lamps, but kerosene table lamps“.

The museum also exhibits instruments: voltmeters, galvanometers and more.

Phones are introduced – from the first to the mobile phones. By the way, mobile communication in Omsk appeared in 1995.

There is a kiosk that says about typography. An old book is presented, which is printed on a machine tool.

Sergey EGOROV commented on the exhibits at the photo booth:

Here cameras and camcorders of various modifications – from film to digital. Central to this exhibition is a fixed camera. This massive device was widely used in photo studios until the mid-1980s. The exhibition is closed by televisions from the first models to the modern ones.“.

The tour guide concluded:

For a more complete understanding of our exhibition, we have supplemented it with themed posters aimed at visitors to think about innovation and invention.“.

Epilogue. The author of this article cites his memory from the distant 1970s. In the port of the Omsk River, in the winter apartments (this is where the fleet stays in the winter and the ships are repaired), his head published a poster: “Lazy is the best innovatorThe poster accidentally caught the eye of the party committee secretary. Looking at the poster he said:The very essence of the text does not confirm socialist reality. It is suitable for the West, but we must have it all as human beingsThe poster was taken down, but the employees remembered it for a long time and laughed.

Photo © Alexey OZEROV

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