Other Currencies

Math and Logic Puzzles for Soviet Children

Group of four mathematical games and logic puzzle pamphlets, 1930-1944.

Sverkh pamiat‘. Matematicheskaia igra [Super memory. Mathematical game]. Moscow, ca. 1930. Fifteen leaves of mathematical puzzles measuring 7.5 × 5 cm in original pictorial card case. Very good.

Kristalinskii, V. with A. Bulatova (illustrator). Veselyi sputnik: zagadoch. kartinki, rebusy, zagadki [The Fun Companion: mysterious pictures, puzzles, riddles]. [Moscow]: Tsentrali`nyi dom detei zheleznodorozhnikov, 1944. Quarto (14 × 11 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 10 pp. Very good.

Perel’man, Ia[kov Isidorovich]. Zadumai chislo: matematicheskii otgadchik [Think of a number: mathematical solver]. Leningrad: Dom zanimatel’noi nauki, 1938. Quarto (9.5 × 7 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 16 pp. Very good.

Perel’man, Ia[kov Isidorovich]. Arifmeticheskie fokusy [Arithmetic tricks]. Leningrad: Dom zanimatel’noi nauki, 1939. Quarto (12 × 8 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 16 pp. Very good.

This collection of four mathematical games and logic puzzle pamphlets (1930-1944) offers a glimpse into early math education for Soviet children, famed for its innovative methods as much as for its rigor. Education by means of puzzles, games, and brain teasers was promoted in after-school programs, math circles and through math "Olympiads". Two of the items in the collection, a mathematical memory game, and a collection of riddles and puzzles, were likely part of a math circle kit, with the latter published by the “Central House of the Children of Railway workers” a ‘palace of culture’ for Soviet children which hosted a variety of after-school and extracurricular math and science programs in addition to programming in the arts. Two other books in the collection are by Iakov Perel’man (1882-1942), a journalist and prolific popular science writer considered the founder of popular science writing for children. His 1913 book “Zanimatel’naia fizika” (Physics for Entertainment) was immensely popular and was translated into over twenty languages, with similar books on geometry, arithmetic, and astronomy to follow throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Perel’man was also the co-founder of a children’s museum Dom zanimatel’noi nauki (House of entertaining sciences) in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1935-1941. Math, physics and astronomy models were the basis of the exhibits, with the museum also housing a small publishing house which published two of the books in this collection and nearly 40 titles in all.

As of March 2021, KVK and OCLC show only one copy of one of the items (Zadumai chislo) in Texas.

Book ID: 50971

Price: $350.00