/ We bought a TV

We bought a TV

When I tell during a tour of “Khrushchev’s 60’s” that the first Belarusian TV was made on … a sawmill, many do not believe. Minsk “Horizons” are famous everywhere, and here about some sawmills talk.

And yet this is really so: it was the former sawmill, which produced unpretentious furniture before the war, became the basis for the establishment in 1939 of the Minsk Radio Plant, which was commissioned to launch the production of radio receivers and loudspeakers. And the plant has adjusted: the radio sets assembled here carried the beautiful names “KIM”, “Pioneer”, “Marshal”, and the company itself soon received the name of Molotov. In 1957 he was given another name of Lenin. Then it became a production association named after Lenin. Still later – ON “Belvar”. And now it is called JSC “Minsk Instrument-Making Plant”.


That’s where the first Belarusian television was released in 1954. And not on the legendary “Horizon”, as some believe.

It was our black and white first-born “Belarus”. Soon he turned into a television and radio, uniting for the joy of the public in himself a TV, a record player and a radio receiver. People for such a multifunctionality called the machine trimmed with valuable tree species “combine” – to have such a house was considered a special glamor.

However, the luxurious “Belarus” was not affordable for everyone. It was simpler and cheaper to purchase another novelty of the Minsk radio plant – the TV “Neman”.

The older generation probably remembers these quite worthy for reliability and attractive design black and white “telly”, which decorated the apartments of many residents of the republic. Since 1957 the plant has put the model on stream and has constantly improved. And the enterprise produced TV “Zorka” and “Voskhod”.

But it was the “Niemen” that became a popular favorite: a wide screen impressed him even the Japanese. Millionth “Neman”, descended from the assembly line on September 21, 1967, today can be seen in the museum of the plant. The last TV was released here on January 29, 1971.

A funny signal came to us from the past. Purchased TVs were required … to register. Here is an ad from the newspapers of 1956. “The Ministry of Communications of the Byelorussian SSR informs citizens, heads of enterprises, institutions and organizations that there is an obligatory registration of TV sets within 5 days from the date of their acquisition. Registration of TVs is made in offices and offices of communication on the document proving the identity and residence of the TV owner. When registering, you must present the TV’s passport to the communication authorities. Subscription fees for televisions are charged quarterly in advance at a fixed rate. ”

The Niemen is also at our exhibition Khrushchev-60x, traditionally covered with a plush cloak to protect an expensive thing from dust, plastic flowers in a vase, a tumbler. Any “trinkets” on the surface of the TV set … to decorate the TV!

It was in the 1960s that new forms of television broadcasting, programs, and television films appeared, which are still popular today!

And of course, old, good feature films …

Quite rightly, television and television programs of that time deserve a separate publication that goes beyond the scope of our exhibition. We are talking about the way people live in “Khrushchevka 60’s”, making “a museum still life” from the subjects of that time. And the TV was then (remember that for sure!) The center of events. In the afternoon, when the parents were building socialism in a single country, children were invited to the apartment where the TV was already standing. The courts of “Khrushchev’s new buildings” were not yet equipped, having played in “Cossack robbers” and saw on the other’s neck a key on a string, the children asked: “Can I see the TV?”

Children’s programs were pure, kind and cognitive!

And who would have thought, in 50 years we will see the absolutely opposite appeal that I found on the Internet:

But the most amazing thing is that the TV in the apartment to the lucky owners came to watch … neighbors in the evening! Many people remember that the TV was the only one at someone on the landing! “Good evening, do you watch the TV?” – with those words in the evening, those who had the only means of communication with a radio in the apartment to the lucky owners, and so wanted to see the world …

Patiently sat the hosts and neighbors, discussed what they saw, sincerely empathized. And the topics for discussion were enough, the television did only the first steps and we bought not just the cherished box, we bought a window into the world, which we so much wanted not just to find out, but to see it …

How can this be imagined today?

And though the names of your neighbors, you know?

For illustration, materials from the funds of our museum, as well as those found on the Internet, were used. Request to INEQUAL to this topic residents of our city Lida: share photos from personal archives, which are made against the background of interiors of the 60’s. Scan and return with gratitude!