In Rostov-on-Don, a lady sets up shop a couple hours each weekday and sells these lapel pins. My impression is that during Soviet times, such pins were to a Russian what t-shirts are to Americans. Besides being fun to wear, they're a handy way of showing a bit of where we have been and what we've done. One website says that years ago, trading pins on the street was a popular pastime, apparently they were traded much like baseball cards.
This lady - Olga is her name, as I recall - has collected these pins from various estate sales. Looking at her pin collection is like walking through Soviet history. Say, care to join me for a closer look? (Click photos to enlarge.)
Most of these pins are related to the Olympic games. Several are especially interesting. Let's zoom on in closer.
A couple of these pins catch my eye. In the upper right is a red and gold pin that says CSSR 25. I was pretty proud of myself - for a few minutes, anyway - for deciding that was for the 25th anniversary of the USSR. Except it can't be: For one thing, USSR in Russian is spelled CCCP and besides that 1945 - in small print - was not the 25th anniversary of the USSR. Oh well. This is when I turn to my local experts. And there are many. Starting with the lady who is selling these. Here's betting she knows exactly the story behind that pin.
Another interesting pin lower right, silver with Roman numerals XXII. That would be for the 22nd Olympic games in Moscow in 1980. Remember when the US boycotted those games? (Boy we showed them a thing or two, didn't we? haha)
Another interesting pin is top center and says PRESS, in English, of course. The matching pin to the left says International Exhibition and seems to involve oil - power - and agriculture, I'm guessing. Maybe the engineers among us would have an idea. Again, I'll get the pin seller lady would know exactly the story behind those pins.
Anybody have a major interest in such pins? No promises here, but I can get them really quite inexpensively.