Chemistry conference 1958


“Chemistry brings bread, wealth and beauty” was the slogan of the Chemistry Conference (Chemiekonferenz) that had been organized by the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party and the State Plan Commision in November 1958. Here the course was set for a fundamental change and massive investment in the chemical industry of the GDR that would prepare the overall introduction of plastic consumer goods during the 1960s. It has been part of the development of a “socialist consumer society” but at the same time brought ridicule comments (on the famous advertisement for “plastics and elastics from Schopau”) and critique about the growing air pollution at the production sites. Plastic objects were both part of the mass production of consumer goods and subject to innovative product design.

The Documentation Centre owns an extraordinary collection of plastic consumer goods that is documented in a data base. The visitor for his research may chose under household goods, table ware and cutlery, electric household appliances und furniture as well as radios. A mostly disregarded aspect of the invention of plastic items of everyday use one may find in switches and installation material. Plastics also changed the equipment of offices and the appearance of high-priced consumer goos like cameras. The data base provides information about advertisement for plastics and shop windows presenting plastic consumer goods. Finally the visitor may be interested in inspecting the presentation of plastics at the Leipzig Trade Fair around 1960 and the many signs representing the producers of plastic consumer goods.

For a complete version of this article and the object data base please see the German version of this site under "Chemikonferenz".

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