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In the Industry Exposition of Energy and Technology Museum, you will find items that introduce you to the technologies developed in the second half of the 20th century. It is kind of encyclopedia of the past, thanks to which we can feel the spirit of the past era, learn about the relevant events, achievements and public mood of those times.

“Saturn” vacuum cleaner

“Saturn”. ETM pictures

Sophisticated, bright and playful vacuum cleaner “Saturnas”, which has been in production since 1963 at the “Velga” electric welding equipment factory in Vilnius, design accurately reflects the scientific achievements and political situation of that era:

◾️ In 1961 the first man, Yuri Gagarin, went into space. Since then the theme of space entered not only radio and television programs, but also the fields of design, art and philately;

◾️ During the Cold War, there was a fierce race between Western and Eastern modernity. “Saturn” was the Soviet response to the famous American “Hoover” vacuum cleaner of 1955, “Constellation”;

◾️ The model created by Lithuanian designer Vytautas Didžiulis was one of the most prominent design objects in the Soviet era, demonstrated at local and global exhibitions;

◾️ Architect Vytautas Edmundas Čekanauskas used vacuum cleaner body halves to create lamps. These survived in the architect-designed Composers’ House (1966) and the Café of the Contemporary Art Centre (1967) in Vilnius.

Composers’ House lighting. Photo courtesy of Norbert Tukaj (“Open House Vilnius”).

The mesh is back in fashion

Back in vogue the Soviet-era wide-web mesh, also known as rezginė, served the system of the era – a mesh shopping cart with handles that allowed others to see what products citizens were buying, publicizing private property. Today, woven bags are experiencing a “revival”, but their purpose is already different.

The mesh.

Tape recorders and televisions. Why were they given Lithuanian names?

◾️ “Neringa” was the first Lithuanian tape recorder, started to be produced at the Kaunas Radio Factory in 1959. The models of the first year were anniversary models, dedicated to the occasion of “XX years of LTSR”. The Lithuanian name was chosen to emphasize the uniqueness of the country. The names of later models of tape recorders (“Vaiva”, “Minija”, “Nida”) seem to lead to a trip around Lithuania.

◾️ The first portable televisions “Šilelis” were built at the Kaunas Radio Factory in the 1970s and assembled in Vilnius. In order to make the advertisement of the new invention effective, it was decided to use recreation motifs: the posters showed trips to nature or to the lake, where you can also take a TV with you. In order to connect the TV with nature, it was named “Šilelis”.

Advertisement of “Šilelis”.

Not only dishes, but also souvenirs

Glass factory “Raudonoji aušra” (Red Dawn) produced bottles, glasses, dishes and colored stained glass. Among the exhibits you will also find jubilee glass souvenirs. One of them is decorated with the sign of the Republican Song Festival held in 1985 (in other words, the logo that came into force in 1965). Then the 45th, the last, Soviet Song Festival took place, where a record number of participants was reached – 38,856 people.

Exhibition of the Vilnius glass industry.

More exhibits and their stories are in the Industry Exposition on the second floor of the museum.


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