Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rockets & Space Ships (1953)

Rockets and Spaceships was one of the first English children's "space" books I found. It has unique painted color illustrations that look very different from the Bonestellian ones I was used to in American books.

Hollinson, Harry. Illustrated by Butler, Leslie and Bayly, Cecil. Rockets and Space Ships. London : Perry Colour Books Ltd. (44 p.) 19 cm. "Do You Know" series. 1953

In my continued collecting I found it seems to be one of the earliest British children's books solely on spaceflight. The text focuses on the history of spaceflight, rocket theory, and first steps to the Moon.

The book was reprinted so here is the original and the more generic looking reprint side by side:

It has 20 color paintings of rockets, space stations, space suits and man landing on the Moon. Images of rockets are "non-Bonestellian" and almost romantic in style.

I really like the illustrations in this book, especially this one:

I have never seen another illustration of a bicycle in space. Being a bike commuter, I have thought of making this one into a t-shirt. I also appreciate a different take on the round space station.

This book gives a friendlier version of what life in space would be like. The rounded illustration style seems gentler than the usually angular engineering illustrations.

A lovely small book well worth hunting down.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eagle Book of How It Works (1962)

Eagle was one of the big publishers of non-fiction for children in England because of their weekly magazine. They repurposed contents of the magazine into a number of books. This one is an anthology of articles collected for young people.

Eagle book of how it works. London, Longacre Press, 192 p. illus., 27 cm. 1962

Most of the illustrations are familiar but it still has a variety of space vehicles to explore.

I do like the idea of using my "jet pack" to leap over such a small car. Sort of like having "rocket boots."

Delta wings rule!

I also enjoy the British slant on spaceflight with this illustration of the Ariel satellite, "designed by in Britain and launched by the Americans."

 Solar sails are cool too!

An early Project Apollo design. And now my favorite picture from the book, not necessarily space-related but still very "space age".

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Hippo Book of Rockets and Missiles (1962)

This was #8 in the Hippo series of books about all sorts of topics. The Hippo books were all , only 10 x 13 cm. but this one had 127 pages so it is a weighty little monster.

Taylor, John W.R. Rockets and Missiles. Feltham, England : Odhams. (127 p.) 10 x 13 cm.

"Hippo Books" series (#8). Also 1968, 1971 editions.

It has a relatively simple format with photographs of each type of rocket or missile alternating with descriptions. It was a "train-spotting" sort of book (if I am using the term correctly), that allowed the child to see all the varieties of vehicles that were out there. This was a common format for getting a space book published.  They would use aerospace press release photographs and text and show what was current.  Like the airplane books of earlier years there was little discussion of the vehicles beyond dimensions and performance characteristics.

As I said I have a number of these types of books but without much "space art" I am just getting around to scanning them now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Space Satellites (1958)

Mechanics Illustrated had a series of "special issues" which they sold at the newsstands. Space Satellites was one of those fine publications.

These were fun because of how they reused both "factual" illustrations as well as some of the more imaginative ones that were in circulation.

This one in particular, which graced the backcover, shows how Mechanix Illustrated took their mission seriously. They wanted their readers to feel technologically savvy and know how to "Keep ahead of the times".

This one reused a newspaper illustration show ESVs (Earth Satellite Vehicles) might appear in the future.

They had a mixture of articles from different sources on space topics. Some were repritns from the magazine while others were written specificially for this publication.This illustration shows how "Project Big Brother" would work by keeping watch over us all.

 I love how these timetables appear in the popular space literature. Things were changing so rapidly that no one was really sure how fast change might take place. I especially like the "Editior's note" which explains that almost anything might happen that would change these predictions including "technological breakthroughs or war."

Finally some cool Fred Freeman illustrations that are reused from a McCall's article. Fred Freeman was one of the illustratior in the Collier's "Man will conquer space soon!" series and his paintings and drawings are worth seeking out.

I hope my blogging is back on line now.  My brother George has been undergoing a bone marrow transplant and I had other things than space on my mind, but he seems to be doing well.