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1937 travel brochure for Poland


ChrisOtto 1 | 4
3 Nov 2011 #1
Hi all. ... I thought you might find this post from my ephemera blog interesting:

papergreat.blogspot.com/2011/11/excerpts-from-1937-travel-brochure-for.html

It's a 1937 travel brochure, produced in Poland and targeted at Americans.

I really only skim the surface on some of the interesting facets of this brochure. Looking forward to researching and writing more about it and, most importantly, would love some feedback and questions about this nice piece of Poland's history.

All the best,

Chris
teflcat 5 | 1,032
3 Nov 2011 #2
Interesting to read that Warsaw was Poland's gay capital as far back as 1937 ;)
peterweg 37 | 2,319
3 Nov 2011 #3
Not surprising, being the capital.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
3 Nov 2011 #4
Interesting to read that Warsaw was Poland's gay capital as far back as 1937 ;)

The person writing that may have been aware of the (then subtle) meaning and so might a portion of the intended readership (the word has been used that way for a long, long time). And yes, it certainly had plenty of bars etc even then. Only one survived the war and was open until only a few years ago.
OP ChrisOtto 1 | 4
3 Nov 2011 #5
One thing that's interesting is that this tourism brochure, in my opinion, was written by someone for whom English was NOT their first language. Even with that, however, that text throughout this brochure is of a very high quality. There are few instances of poor sentence construction or grammar errors. The biggest criticism I can level at it is a redundancy of language -- it seems the term "picturesque" is used in every third paragraph.

It really is a fascinating slice of history.

ALSO: I've seen books and documents as "late" as the 1960s employ variations of the term "gay" without an intention whatsoever of its modern meaning. So I truly believe its use in this 1937 document is meant to be the original intent of the word.
PWEI 3 | 612
3 Nov 2011 #6
Only one survived the war and was open until only a few years ago.

Which one was that?
teflcat 5 | 1,032
3 Nov 2011 #7
So I truly believe its use in this 1937 document is meant to be the original intent of the word.

So do I.

the word has been used that way for a long, long time

I'm away from my etymological dictionary at the moment, but how long is a long, long time? I'd have guessed the 1910s-20s.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
3 Nov 2011 #8
Yeah, all languages evolve; expressions we use today might be made fun of tomorrow. My friend's dad who's in his 80s sometimes uses the term gay when describing happiness. He has dementia and has forgotten the "new" connotation of the word.

Either way, I checkout out your blog, the brochure you found is a neat window into the past.

The Polish currency - Złoty has gone through numerous devaluations and even a re-denomination (dropping zeros) since then but today it's a stable, freely convertible currency. What I found interesting was the huge drop in the relative value of the British pound, competitively speaking.

From the 1937 brochure:
"...The Polish zloty, divided into 100 groszy, is worth approximately 20 american cents or 10d. For conversion of dollars into zloty multiply by five. The English pound is worth roughly 25 zloty, a penny is equivalent to 10 groszy.7 ... Cafés usually charge 1 zloty for coffee, while an excellent pastry costs 30 groszy..."

So:
20  = 1zł
$1 = 5zł (today $1 is about 3zł)

Meanwhile:
£1 = 25zł (today £1 is about 5zł)

A huge change wouldn't you say?
OP ChrisOtto 1 | 4
3 Nov 2011 #9
If I did a followup post with more excerpts from the 1937 brochure, is there any particular section or topic that you would want to read more about?
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
3 Nov 2011 #10
Not sure if it's in there but anything travel related. How to get to/from Poland, how long it took and the prices they had to pay would be an interesting perspective.

PS.
Damn I hate those time limits on editing our own posts.

Meant to say "checked out" and "comparatively speaking" in my previous post.
OP ChrisOtto 1 | 4
3 Nov 2011 #11
Yes, there's actually a good amount of information on Poland's train stations and schedules. I could do a transportation related followup post this weekend. Thanks for the suggestion!
OP ChrisOtto 1 | 4
6 Nov 2011 #13
As promised, here is some more info from the 1937 travel brochure for Poland:
papergreat.blogspot.com/2011/11/more-from-1937-poland-travel-brochure.html
SRK85 - | 72
15 Nov 2011 #14
Very interesting thanks for the post.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
11 Dec 2011 #15
Yes thanks, forgot to reply, thanks for the blast from the past. ;)


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