Friday, June 14, 2019

American Girl (December 1961) "Lots of Room in Space for Women"

From 1917 until 1979 Girl Scouts of the USA published a magazine, originally called "The Rally" (1917–1920) and then "American Girl".

 I came across this issue dedicated to women in the space program. It is unusual to find material addressed directly to girls about careers in the space program. This December 1961 issue had a couple of articles so I will break up my postings of the articles into 3 also.

The first thing to notice is the "sexist" language (even if it is aimed at girls) using terms and references like: dainty, petticoats, discussion of dating, Jill-of-all-trades, 

 "These tests are already proving that women can withstand the stresses in space as well as men--- sometimes even better."

 "When she is not bowling with her Air Force pilot husband, she's cooking for him, naturally!"

 "When I first got the job I made up my mind I wouldn't stare at them all the time, even though they were famous. Then she adds with a vivacious smile, 'But they're not bad to look at'"

"Maybe that first woman to plant her dainty toes on the dusty surface of the moon will be you."

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Club of Young Cosmonauts (1966)

A very interesting and rare item today, The Club of Young Cosmonauts. This was a supplement to the magazine "The Young Technician." It contained a fold-out sheet of suggestions how to start your own "Space club" with your friends. The illustrations suggest ways you could advertise it, ways to learn about space history, and some other ways you could promote a joint interest in space flight. The drawings are not very detailed but it is a interesting artifact of soviet children's life during the space age.

 Fig. 9 shows animals. Which of them were in space?

Friday, May 31, 2019

A Trip to Polaris: or 264 trillion miles in an aeroplane (1923)

So digging into the old stuff I came across A Trip to Polaris (1923). This is one of the earlier books for children that suggests space flight (even if it is with a "magical" airplane). Mostly text it does have a great cover. It does remind the reader that space is airless so you need to pack oxygen tanks for the journey.

Charles S Muir. A trip to Polaris : or 264 trillion miles in an aeroplane.
Washington, D.C. : The Polaris Company. (63 p.)17 cm. 1923.

 Interesting theory about how the Moon once was like Earth but was destroyed by volcanic eruptions.
 They also find a fleet of aeroplanes on Mars
 And a peaceful philosophy about "The Brotherhood of Man."
 How do you end a book like this? Well when they end up at Polaris, they get new oxygen tanks which break the plane and they wake up in bed. It was all a dream!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Outer Space Coloring Book by Jim Solar, Space Sheriff (1966)

Time for a change of pace. Jim Solar, Space Sheriff was the star of a series of promo pamphlet sized comics (see an example here ). They had been handed out in the 1950s by various stores, or in packages of hot dogs, with the store or brand logo on the back. there were initially written by Walter B. Gibson, the author of The Shadow.

I had seen a copy of this coloring book several times over the years but did not know why it seemed to be more common than the comics. It turns out it was also enclosed in an easter egg dyeing kit. I do not know why there except it would appeal to "space age" kids.

(See the small print "Outer Space Coloring Book")

The comics were:
Jim Solar Space Sheriff "Between Two Worlds" 1953
Jim Solar Space Sheriff and Dara Starr in "Spacettes of the Sky" 1954
Jim Solar Space Sheriff and Dara Starr, Spacette Encounter "The Creatures of the Comet"1954
Jim Solar Space Sheriff and Dara Starr, Spacette Encounter "Trouble on Mercury" 1954
Jim Solar Space Sheriff and Dara Starr, Spacette Find "The Sky Ruby" 1953
Jim Solar Space Sheriff and Dara Starr, Spacette in "Ring around Saturn" 1957
Jim Solar Space Sheriff and Dara Starr, Spacette Meet the "Jupiter Jumpers" 1954
Jim Solar Space Sheriff and Dara Starr, Spacette Meet the "Spidermen of Venus" 1958
Jim Solar Space Sheriff with Dara Starr, Spacette "Conquers Outer Space" 1954
Jim Solar Space Sheriff and the "Robots of Rhea" 1958
Jim Solar Space Sheriff Battles the "Outlaws of the Spaceways" 1953
Jim Solar Space Sheriff Defeats the Moon Missile Men 1957
Jim Solar Space Sheriff in "Pirates of the Planet X" 1953
Jim Solar Space Sheriff in Meets the "Man from Mars" 1954
Jim Solar Space Sheriff in the "Battle for Mars" 1953
Jim Solar Space Sheriff Meets the "Raiders from the Sun" 1954
Jim Solar Space Sheriff on Traffic Duty 1955
Jim Solar Space Sheriff Protects Space Lanes 1957

The drawings are better than average and are well worth seeing.

Friday, May 10, 2019

il nostro Amico Satellite (1963)

Il nostro Amico Satellite translates roughly as Our Friend Satellite. I have been trying to discover new children's books and have found a few in Italian. The painted illustrations are charming and it reuses a number of illustrations from the Collier's series (I haven't included those today.)

Martina, Guido. Il nostro Amico Satellite (3rd edition). Milano : Mondadori. (157 p.) 29 cm. 1963.

 It covers the history of rockets and of training astronauts for space.
 Early rocket plane tests
 German V-2 Base
 Vanguard 1
 Russian probe around the moon

 1st man-made object to land (crash) on the moon.

The future in space.