Today we have a whole set of ultra-modern devices in our household arsenal. But traces of the past are still present in everyday life. In any house, you can find this or that thing from our mothers’ and grandmothers’ times, which has served its owners for decades.

We decided to take a closer look at the things that are much older than many of us, but still hold a brand.

Valenki Boots

Valenki keep your feet warm and dry, thanks to the properties of wool. For the cold winter, there is no better footwear to find. As foreign visitors, valenki are one of the unofficial symbols of our country, a souvenir, which they are happy to take back home. But even among foreign guests there are people who appreciate the benefits of felt boots.

“They are worth buying. I wore them all winter, and they never let me down. At first glance, they don’t look like good winter boots and don’t seem waterproof, but they were the only shoes that could withstand -40 °C. In all the “factory” ones I bought, my feet were freezing by the end of the day.”


Carpet is the epitome of affluence in the Soviet era. In the ’50s, people began to move en masse to new buildings and get settled in. Expensive and scarce interior items were followed by long queues. But this beauty did not always go with the surroundings.
Today the “grandmother’s rug” is worthy of a modern interior. A young Russian designer conducts photo shoots for his catalogs on the background of patterned rugs. The IKEA store offers something similar to a Soviet-style rug for interior solutions. So do not hastily get rid of your old woolly friend, you can try to fit it into your living space.

“As a child there was a rug on the floor with a clear geometric pattern and a large square in the center. I would stand on it, spin around for a long time and, looking down, try to catch the dance of the other shapes.”

Faceted glass

Available in every home cafeteria, used in public catering, soda machines, and street vending. Comfortable and very durable, it was made of thick glass. The cut glass is still used by housewives as a measure of loose and liquid products, and will last another 100 years, in contrast to more fragile brethren. They were also used to cut dough for dumplings and cookies.

“The little hundred-gram cup is a very valuable thing in the household. My mom, when she pickles cucumbers and tomatoes, measures salt, sugar and vinegar with it – a finger not full to the top. It turns out very tasty. I do not know how many grams it is, I had to look for a cup.”


An inexpensive domestic bleach, used in the household for a variety of purposes. It can be used for bleaching linens and clothes, kitchen waffle towels, and even to boil cutlery and pots and pans. But chlorine has a caustic, specific smell, so without rubber gloves, and, in some cases, without a respirator – nowhere.

“I use it to remove stains from white laundry. You need to dilute whitewash with water and leave it for a while. Information on the proportions and time is on the label of the bottle. I treat my toilet brush with the same solution: I pour it into a container with a brush and leave it for 10-15 minutes, after this procedure the brush is snow-white.”

Mercury thermometer

A simple and cheap device to measure body temperature. Accurate enough in contrast to its electronic counterparts. Can be dangerous if broken. In Europe, the free sale of thermometers has long been banned in order to protect the environment and human health. Russia has also embarked on this path, and the disappearance of mercury thermometers in the near future cannot be ruled out.

“I live in Germany, it is a problem to buy a mercury thermometer here. We have two, one is just electronic, the other is a Chinese mercury thermometer, brought from my homeland. The difference in readings reaches 0.3-0.5 degrees, the electronic one reliably lies.”

Cast-iron cookware

Black from soot, heavy cast iron pans, sturdy duck pans and cauldrons are directly associated with the Soviet way of life. People used them for frying, steaming and whatever else they did. Cast-iron is non-toxic. With proper care it lasts much longer and gets better with time. This cookware heats slowly, so the dishes are evenly cooked and do not stick.

Even among foreigners there are admirers of cast-iron products, wishing to get them in their kitchen arsenal. But most of our housewives are still convinced that the best pancakes and potatoes are made only on cast-iron skillets.

“My mother inherited about the same one from my grandmother, and my mother gave it to me. It has survived countless moves and has been faithfully used for almost 20 years now. It doesn’t even need oil, but it’s better to cook eggs in butter, it tastes better that way. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything else.”

“All these pans turn out very tasty! Meat, potatoes, vegetables. Apparently, there is a secret to this old and good cookware.”


The crystal in a Soviet sideboard is another indicator of family prosperity, and the mirrored back wall “doubled” the wealth. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers bought up porcelain sets and crystal tableware. But just because of the mass demand, crystal has depreciated, and bowls and salad bowls cost ridiculous money at the flea markets. But these dishes keep the memories of family celebrations alive. It’s also beautiful. On weekdays even the simplest salad in a crystal salad bowl is a joy to the eye.

“We use Soviet tableware all the time, all crystal, porcelain, and some of the furniture is older than my grandmothers, and we are not going to throw the library away for any reason.”

“Crystal, beautiful tableware is a weakness of mine! And no matter what anyone says, the holiday table in my house always sparkles with crystal. Even the washing ritual, which many complain about, is a pleasure, as the play of light on the clear facets pleases the eye, and the new arrangement allows one thing to stand out each time so that everyone wonders, “And how come we didn’t see it before?” .”

The first Soviet SUV

In 1977, the VAZ-2121 “Niva” became the first crossover in the USSR and opened to the world a new class of passenger cars with all-wheel drive. During tests, it turned out that the car confidently overcomes sections with deep mud. It is suitable for both rural and urban driving. “Niva” is produced to this day.

“I personally need the car in order to get to almost any point of our vastness. And let me tell you more, my car copes with it.
Yes, it, like all cars, breaks down, a little more often than foreign cars, however, the unit is simple as a three kopecks, spare parts are in any store, fix it on the knee.”