The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition: Small Stores Which Used to Sell Sundries

12March 5 - April 4, 2016  
Krapivna Local History Museum  

On March 5 at 15:00 the exhibition Small Stores Which Used to Sell Sundries opens at the Krapivna Local History Museum. The exhibition focuses on the history of such small stores that were the most popular type of shops in the Russian Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The exhibition will demonstrate what kinds of goods were sold in such small stores. The visitors will see a wide variety of utensils, hardware items, jugs, jars, and boxes meant for various purposes, which were used by the people who bought them over a hundred years ago. The display will also include old scales and lamps that were used in shops, and images showing the work of small stores. Most of the objects are from the collection of the Krapivna Museum. 

Background information:


Small stores selling sundries appeared in Russia in the time of Emperor Paul I; he issued a decree permitting the opening of shops in residential houses, avoiding the need to pay for building special premises. Thus, even people who were not rich could become shop owners, such as petty bourgeois, retired junior officers, or widows. There were no hired salesmen in such stores; the owner himself manned the place, often assisted by his family members.  


A large variety of different goods were sold at such stores: vegetables and fruit, meat and fish, bread and sweets, spices and grains, perfumes and tobacco, sewing accessories and writing supplies, candles and kerosene lamps. The goods were displayed in such a way that they wouldn’t damage one another.

The buyers preferred such small stores not only due to their wide selection of goods, but also for reasons of customer loyalty, as it was common for them to provide goods on credit. Purchase on credit was especially popular on the outskirts of towns, mostly among workers and petty officials. Thus the owner of the store had permanent clients and the clients had an opportunity to get what they needed during tough times.

The exhibition will be open until April 4. 

It can be visited every day from 9:00 to 17:00. Cost of a guided visit: 30 rubles for a discounted ticket and 50 rubles for a full-price ticket. 

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