In 1941, Margaret Bourke-White returned to the Soviet Union accompanied by her husband, writer Erskine Caldwell. Bourke-White describes what she decided to take along on the trip.
“I spent the entire month before departure planning my equipment and taking lessons in elementary mechanics so as to repair cameras when I was beyond hope of assistance. … My quota of supplies included three thousand flash bulbs, peanut variety, a large supply of film packs, five cameras, twenty-two lenses, four portable developing tanks, bottles of Dk21 fine grain developer, several papers of dressmaker pins, duplicates of every screw found in all the minute parts of my lens mounts and synchronizing magnets, a synchroscope, and a jeweler’s screw driver and pliers. In addition, I carried twenty-eight paper-bound detective stories.
My husband packed one small suitcase with his old corduroy jacket and a few shoes and got an extra ribbon for his portable typewriter. His professional equipment weighted seventeen pounds. My equipment weighted six hundred pounds. “
In Hong Kong on the way to the USSR, she had a shoemaker make custom leather cases with zippers for cameras, flash guns, reflectors and filters.
shortly after they arrived in the USSR, Nazi Germany attacked.
from The Taste of War, Margaret Bourke-White
great book by a great LIFE photographer