Thursday, November 12, 2009

Donald Duck and Wernher von Braun on the Moon (1958?)

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite blogs Ephemera ( Ephemera does a great job of showing that every object or scrap of paper can have a story if you look a little.

So the object in question is a pair of gloves (child sized). While not a licensed Disney product they are well made and have images of Donald Duck exploring the Moon on one side of the cuff and a ship flying over the moon on the other side. I bought them from a seller in Mexico so suspect they were some sort of bootleg product.

If you look closely at Donald Duck's head it is an appliqué on top of the space suit. This begs the question whether it was originally a man's head in the space suit.

The second question to ask is about this space ship. I am very familiar with this one. It is RM-1, designed by Wernher von Braun for the Walt Disney television film called "Man And The Moon" broadcast December 28, 1955. RM-1 was meant to illustrate what a factual around the moon space ship might look like. In the film it was portrayed by this model.

So these gloves have to date from after 1955. As far as I know there were very few products derived from the movie but the quality of printing on the gloves is very nice and it looks like these gloves were not a 0ne-of-a-kind trial.

So is the image of Donald Duck and a Wernher von Braun designed rocket a unique collision of fact and fantasy? Donald Duck on the Moon is fantasy but was this meant to inspire children to "dream of space"? More questions than answers but the gloves are neat.

Here is the children's book with these images Tomorrow the Moon (1959):


  1. What a fascinating and serendipitous combination of 50s' icons: Donald, and Von Braun (and his rocketry). Thanks John!