Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays from My Room

Marx space men, Lego Saturn V, Ribbons from 1969, C.S, Hammond poster, Mir Space Station
This will be my last post of this year so I thought I would invite you all over to my room for a party!  My house does not have a lot of wall space so I have decorated my office instead.  Most people's reaction upon entering is silence as they try to take in what a BIG spaceflight fan I am.
Lenticulars from Vari-vue, W. C. Jones, Asahi Trading Co., Reaver Ship from Serenity,
I have been slowly gathering lenticular postcards of spaceflight and especially the moon landing so this "gallery" is one of my favorite things to look at.

"Space Age", Tin-tin, Snowy, Marx astronaut, Lego Lunar Module, K'nex Apollo 15 Lunar Lander
Here is my "Space Age 1959" poster that I blogged about last spring. In front of it is my lunar module and various space explorers.

Robbie, Dalec, Alien, Lunar Lander

Here you see a collection of assorted robots to the left, a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes that had the "Man in Space" patches I adored as a child, and just a hint of a "Tomorrowland" game.  Behind it all is the wonderful poster of all the fictional spaceships made by the authors of the Spaceship Handbook,  Jack Hagerty and  Jon C. Rogers. Seriously if you don't have that book you need to ask Santa for it soon!
Spy Satellite editorial cartoon, Spaceship one photo, Cover of Man-made Satellites by John Polgreen, Collier's Oct 18, 1952, Flight to the Moon Scrapbook, Mission Space preview pass, 6th anniversary OC Girl Scout celebration
My "space wall". This is a mixture of space related things my kids have done along with images from Disney, Bonestell, Polgreen, and Spaceship 1.
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Below my wall are a few of my favorite space books. I swap them out every once in a while since I love the covers.  If I had the space I suppose I would display all my books this way.

Another piece of comic art that I love. This was the advertisement for a comic called "Race for the Moon".  It was drawn and sent to the printer about two weeks after Sputnik 1 went up. I really like the feeling I get from it being at the dawn of the space age.
Finally another favorite poster: "Librarian in Space". I work in an academic library as a biology librarian and was really happy when one of the academic publishers made posters about librarians helping different scientists out. They had undersea, cave exploration, and finally one in space.  I know it doesn't actually picture a real librarian but I can "Dream of space" can't I? 

Happy holidays.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Does a Test Pilot Do? (1969)

Although mostly about aviation and planes this book does have a few cool photographs of some of the other vehicles test pilots got to fly. (POSTSCRIPT Some people on another blog were asking what is that plane on the cover. It is the Bell X-22 )

Wells, Robert. What does a test pilot do? New York: Dodd, Mead 64 p. illus. 23 cm.(1969)

While probably everyone has seen photographs of the LLRV it was one of the crazier vehicles that was ever flown. Famously unstable there is a great YouTube video of an astronaut using the built-in ejector seat right before it crashes.

The other treat is some photographs I had not seen of the "Lifting body" planes.

I love this close-up. It really does look like those spaceships from science fiction with it chrome body and "bubble" cockpit.

"The possible spacecraft of the future".  These ships were too cool.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Apollo 16 poster with Casper the Friendly Ghost (1972)

OK this is definitely under the category of ephemera.  It is a 21 x 32 inch poster of Casper (the Friendly Ghost) flying along with the Apollo 16 Command module over the Moon.

It is probably an artist's proof from someone at Harvey Comics (the "owner's" of Casper)
You can just see the Harvey copyright on this.  The reason it was created was because the Command module of Apollo 16 was named Casper.  At some point the Apollo 16 astronuats were talking to some children about walking on the Moon and one remarked that the astronauts in their white suits looked like Casper the Friendly Ghost.  The crew decided to name their command module Casper to appeal to children's imaginations. The lunar module was called Orion. I have not be able to find out yet whether this poster was ever published. 

I do love the juxtaposition of fantasy and reality in this image.  Which is harder to believe: ghosts or that a manned ship flew to the moon? The only other information I have been able to dig up since I found this beauty is that a smaller image was issued as a button that I was able to find on a space collector's site.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Adventures in Coloring (1959)

Cool stuff is where you find it and I love space art with kids in it. This was a tablet style coloring book with a great front cover illustration.

New Adventures in Coloring. NY: Sandusky (1959). Part of the "Fun Book- Informative Fun" series of books.

Here is close up of the cover (really the best part)

I miss the old lever-controlled spaceships :)

Here is our happy astronaut. I wonder whatever happened to those 360 degree view space helmets (so useful when identifying someone from behind)?

Why do I think he is happy? Well because on the Moon he can travel like this.
In addition he has a "real" rocket. I know I am being silly but the cover really is the best part of this one.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Inside Information on Space Travel (1970)

A very nice little book that takes us forward to the beginning of the Skylab period in spaceflight.  As early as the late 1960s ideas were floating around about using an empty Saturn upper stage as the basis for a space station.

Wood, Leslie Ashwell. Illustrated by Wood, Leslie Ashwell. Inside Information on Space Travel. London : Benwig Books Ltd. (23 p.) 16 x 21 cm. (1970)

For an excellent post about the author and artist, Leslie A Wood see Bear Alley March 2007

The idea of a "space liner" or reusable space ship was also seen as part of the near future. There did not seem much use in having a space station if we did not have a way to "zoom" up and back. It was assumed that we would have such a ship by the late 1970s (based on our rapid progress with Apollo).

A basic book with cutaway paintings of satellites, rockets, a tracking station, the Saturn 5 and Apollo spacecraft, a space station, and a space shuttle. Format is 1 page of text for each painting. Interesting for both its illustrations and its focus on Britain's contribution to spaceflight. Part of the "Inside Information" series of books.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Earth is Your Spaceship (1963)

Well let's see if I can be a little more diligent about posting in December.  Here is a quick one with not very much "space art".  However I love the cover.

Schwartz, Julius. Illustrated by Simont, Marc. The Earth is Your Spaceship. New York: Whittlesey House. (32 p.) 26 cm. Cloth, DJ.

A charming book about how the Earth travels in space, gravity, the causes of day and night etc. It has only one "space" illustration, a child in a space capsule. It discusses the Earth as a model spaceship with air, heat , gravity, food, etc. See 1965 reprint.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Boy's Book of Jets (1954)

This is primarily a book about aviation. Although the title seems not to promise much space flight there are some great pictures hidden inside.

The Boy's Book of Jets. London : Thames Publishing Co. (94 p.) 27 cm. 1954.

For example it has this illustration of building a "Bonestellian" moon ship. A very nice reinterpretation of a Bonestell painting.

This cut-away painting of the rocket is also worth hunting down.

And this color rocket painting (touring the solar system) on the inner dust pages.

Since this blog is really about children and space flight I love any illustration of children in space looking back on our home planet.

Although some of you probably like this one too with it's cut-away of a generic guided-missile.

In some way this one is the best in the book with its combination of the 1950s car and the futuristic space car that takes you to your rocket. See you in December!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Introducing Children to Space: The Lincoln Plan (1966)

 I have happy memories of learning about space in school. A number of my friend's dads worked at JPL (The Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in Pasadena. We happily absorbed visions of the exciting space age.  Finding this book is like finding a photo album of my classroom in those "golden" years.

Introducing children to space: the Lincoln plan.  United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.; Nebraska. University Teachers College. (1966) 159 p. illus., map. 27 cm. NASA-EP-36

The Lincoln plan was Lincoln, Nebraska's curriculum plan for how to bring spaceflight ideas into the elementary school classroom  It was eventually published as a NASA educational publication. Like many early NASA publications it is online here:

I remember having a current events board like this in my classroom.  I also remember well classroom lined with space posters to help us think about what the next frontier would be.

It is really fun to see that my memories of being immersed in space stuff are not just an exageration. We really did sit around in class and watch launches and other events on television. We thought we were witnessing history.
And we really did dream of the future. We thought by 1999 we would be out in space ourselves.  We were sure that the exploration of the Moon was just the beginning for us.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Adventures in Space (1955)

This is another of those awesome books that bowls you over when you see it. If I had seen this as a child I would have carried it around until the binding was shot.

Kepps, Gerald. Illustrated by Branton and Teece, I. Adventures in Space. London : Ward, Lock and Co Ltd. (44 p.) 26 cm. (1955)

This amazing early space book covers the solar system, how rockets work, construction of rockets and space stations, and journeys to the Moon, and the planets. Wonderful paintings of rockets, space stations, a Moon base, exploration of the outer planets. Text is very simple with many full page illustrations.

It is a children's annual because it also has six two page comic strips: 3 on the exploration of space, the Moon, and rockets, and 3 fictional stories about a space explorer, "Pluton, the Space Boy".

I love this version of the Moonbase. It actually reminds me of shopping malls I've seen.

Sorry this strip is too small to read. I love the Annual archetype of children has friends with a rocket, children see the Earth from space, children experience weightlessness, children land on the Moon, and children learn about space suits and walk on the Moon. I have seen variations of this strip several times.

A beautiful (and proper) circular space station.

A great 3 stage rocket. I love that so many illustrations are double-page.