Monday, June 21, 2010

Out of this World (1953)

Out of this world for next few weeks! I will be away from my computer for the next couple of weeks so this will have to hold you until July.
Thompson, Jeff. Out of This World: An Activity Book based on Space Travel. New York: Hart Publications. (160 p.) 27 cm.

Out of this world is a play activity book with games, jokes, comics etc. It also includes essays (1-5 pages in length) and illustrations about the solar system, space stations, space suits and the history of the rocket.
Some content and illustrations were reused in a later play activity book: Simmons. Planets and Space Travel (1958,1962).

I wonder what it was about 1953 that produced so many cool space books?

Part of me suspects that in 1952 the Collier's series promoted enough space art to appear in other magazines and newspapers and the children's television space boom led to a demanded for something space-related that bookstores could sell for children. So lots of stuff appeared in 1953.
Hope you get to hike on the Moon this summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book of Space Adventures (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966)

1963 Book of Space Adventures #1. London : Atlas Publishing and Distributing Co. Ltd. (62 p.) 31 cm.

Full title on the title page is "Boys' Book of Space : with factual features on the World's space programme and fictional adventures of SPACE ACE - intrepid Commander of the Galactic patrol".

Today is another post inspired by another blog: Project Sword Toys had this posting about the 1965 Book of Space Adventures 3 which inspired me to show you some of the other annuals:

Four issues were published of this cool British annual. This is the 1963 version.
Like other annuals these had a mixture of fiction and non-fiction materials. My favorite aspect of them however is the covers. The covers capture different aspects of the space race as fantasy turned to reality.
No more scans of the first one but the 1963 has short articles on the history of rockets, training for space, exploration of the Moon, and the Dyna-Soar project.

1964 Book of Space Adventures #2: The Latest Developments in the World Space Programmes. London : Atlas Publishing and Distributing Co. Ltd. (93 p.) 27 cm.

This one contained factual articles about Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, U.K. 3 satellite and the E.L.D.O. (European Launcher Development Organization) projects. Also contains fictional comic strip "Ace Jordan".

1965 Book of Space Adventures: The latest developments in the world space programmes #3. London : Atlas Publishing and Distributing Co. Ltd. (95 p.) 29 cm.

This one had short articles about the Douglas Aircraft Global Transport Rocket projects PEGASUS (single-stage passenger rocket) and ITHACUS (single-stage ship-launched troop-carrying rocket). Also articles about Project Gemini and manned exploration of the planets and Ace Jordan comic strips.

Veale, S.E., Allward, Maurice, and Carter, F.J. Book of Space Adventures #4. London : Atlas Publishing and Distributing Co. Ltd. (79 p.) 27 cm.

Contains factual articles about the history of spaceflight, satellites, manned exploration of space, the Apollo missions, and future spacecraft. Illustrated with photographs of spacecraft and missions.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NY World's Fair "Rocket Port" (1939)

(Be sure to "click" on the picture to appreciate this)

I have been inspired by this posting of Doc Atomic about his collection of artifacts to put up my favorite (and only) item from the 1939 New York World's Fair.

This postcard captures a future moment to me. The 1939 Rocket Port. Who knew back then that they were only 22 years from the first manned launch. It must have seemed like the fantasy to watch as Chrysler explained how we would travel in the future.

As you can read, the rocket port was part of the history of transportation exhibit. I really have nothing more to say about this except: THIS IS SO COOL.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wonders: "A Trip to Mars" (1975)

I am not sure how to describe this one in any other terms than "too cool/strange to miss!" Wonders was one of those school readers. It had a number of different stories, poems and articles for kids to read at school. One of the articles was "A Trip to Mars". It illustrated how a teenager created photographs of a mission to Mars using models.

Whitney, Alma. Wonders. New York : Macmillan, 96 pg. It was issued as one of 3 volumes as part of the New MacMillan reading Program.

It is hard to know what to show first but I will start with the mission pictures and then go on to some of the behind the scenes.

I find these images wonderful. Many of us probably tried to make our own space ships and staged mock landings. Since this was publsihed in 1975 I hope it inspired some kids to make models and plan for what was coming next.
Ned built models and then hung them on thread in front of suitable backgrounds.
Mars was of course just the right shade of carpet.
And with the just the right angle we had a landing
This trick was pretty clever, to make the parachute look real.
I wonder what became of Ned. Definitely a true enthusiast I wonder if he went on to work in photography, model building, or space ship design?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Clouds, Rings, and Crocodiles :By spaceship round the planets (1956)

This is by far the most bizarre title for a children's space book I have found. In it facts about space travel are shared in the form of an imaginary voyage through the solar system. The odd title comes from the anticipated living conditions on the various planets (i.e. the crocodiles may exist on Venus because of its dense atmosphere). So unless you have seen this book you wouldn't know it was about spaceflight.
Wilkins, H. Percy. Illustrated by Jauss, Anne Marie. Clouds, Rings and Crocodiles: By Spaceship Round the Planets. Boston: Little Brown and Co. (148 p.) 22 cm. Cloth, DJ / London : Harrap. (127 p.) 20 cm. UK 1955, US 1956

The spaceship designs are similar to the Bonestell rockets but have their own unique interpretation.

The space station design is also very different from the popular ring-shaped ones.
Landing and exploring the moon are the real focus of the text. Unfortunately they don't actually show you any crocodiles living on other planets.

But it does have this wonderful image of looking down on Saturn from Mimas.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Discovering Aerospace (1965)

I've been too busy to post lately so here is a quick one. Not much space art inside but definitely a very nice cover.

Pacilio, James V. Illustrated by Rohrer, George. Discovering Aerospace. Chicago: Children's Press. (157 p.) 29 cm.

The book is mostly about the history of flight with the 1st 2/3 of the book is devoted to the airplane. Drawings of rockets, satellites, Mercury capsule, and a space station. Text include student experiments at the end of each chapter to illustrated scientific principle involved. See 1967 UK reprint.