Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Space Talk (1961)

Here is a fun little piece of ephemera. It is a tiny dictionary of astronautical terms. When the space race first started in earnest, there was lots of new vocabulary in the news. Republic Aviation Corp. issued this little booklet in a publicity effort to highlight their involvement in the new space age. What made this booklet one of the most common pieces of ephemera out there was when it was reissued/reprinted in the 1963 Marx-Atomic Cape Canaveral Play Set.

I quote from ToyNFo: The Vintage Toy Encyclopedia (

Marx Atomic Cape Canaveral Missile Base
This is one of the most popular of the Marx Playsets. This baby came with a tin litho building, space record, fencing, four-stage rocket, bomarc rocket, somarc missle and launcher, scientists gantry and launch pad, flying saucer, searchlight, radar antenna, space capsule, flying saucer and launcher, helicopter, fuel truck, missle trailer, dome, fuel tanks, scientists, NASA ticket, missle men and more!

You can just see the booklet in the upper right hand corner of the box. This playset was one of the great toys of the 1960s. This booklet got into the hands of lots of space hungry kids.
The booklet itself had no illustrations just some rousing text about the future of space.

And of course a few pages of dictionary entries. The entries were pretty straightforward and dry but seeing this booklet makes me remember when it was all a new exciting world and the kids were some of the first to embrace it.

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