Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What Will We Do With The Moon? Popular Science April (1952)

Happy Halloween and what can be spookier than a Moon we don't know what to do with and a dead artist?

From Popular Science April 1952. An interesting article by Arthur C. Clark about what the future might shape up to be.  Clarke and the British Interplanetary society had been thinking about spaceflight for as long or longer than anyone in the world. The BIS came up with a plan for a manned rocket and how a moon colony might work.  Many of these ideas we depicted by the great (lesser know) space artist Ralph Andrew (R.A.)Smith. Tragically he passed away in 1958, never seeing his images come to life.

 R.A. Smith illustrated the BIS imagination much like Chesley Bonestell illustrated the imagination of von Braun and the American space fans. For more examples of Smith's work see these old posts:

 The "bug' lunar lander is another of those interesting features of the BIS vision. It looks much more realistic to us today than the oversized von Braun expedition vehicle.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Walt Disney's Disneyland Game (1959)

I love Disneyland space stuff and in the 1950s it was one of THE places to go if you wanted to experience our possible "tomorrowland". In 1959 they released a game where the object was to visit all 4 lands in the course of the game. I recently got some of the game cards from the game and thought I would highlight the Tomorrowland portion of the game.

I have to thank Boardgeek for many of the other illustrations they have on line. It is the best place to find authoritative information about board games.

The game pieces included a space man, a space repairman, a jet rocket, and a flying saucer.

As I said you randomly got a card at the beginning of the game and had to visit all 4 "lands" to get the tokens that match your card and win the game.

These were the 3 cards I got. I like how "primitive" they seem even for 1959.  The game artist looks like they put in minimal effort.

Admittedly even Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett look pretty poor.  I found the cards and bought them without knowing the source so this post was a chance for me to learn another story about ephemera in my collection.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Eagle Has Landed (1970)

Unfortunately I was out of town when Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012 so I didn't get to post about it. His deeds and those of the Apollo 11 crew were a huge influence on my life and dreams.  So this posting is dedicated to Neil.  He would have liked this one, just the facts, no hype. The wonderful paintings are almost impressionistic in their simplicity.

Martin, Jr., Bill. Illustrated by Aloise, Frank. The Eagle Has Landed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc. (32 p.) 17 cm. 1970


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Moving Ahead : Easy growth in reading (1945)

We tend to think of all that "brave new world of the future" excitement starting in the 1950s. However here is a 6th grade school textbook for children from the 1940s that definitely has a similar theme.

Moving Ahead had a variety of topics in it but the one closest to the designer's heart seems to have been the streamlined future.

Hildreth, Gertrude Howell. Easy growth in reading : moving ahead /
Philadelphia : Winston, 440 p. 1945

"The world of tomorrow" does not seem to differ much from the 1927 film Metropolis.
We have airliners, streamlined cars, hover buses? and enormous cities.  I do like how rockets will be part of our everyday transportation. Who needs an autogiro when you can catch a rocket to the nearest city?

Monday, October 1, 2012

To Other Planets (1962)

This is yet another in the series of posts about (virtually) the same Russian children's space book.

I have found a reprinted and (slightly updated) version from 1962.

The first edition was discussed in these posts:
 To Other Planets by Pavel Klushantsev 1959

Part 1
Part 2

Since it is essentially the same book I am posting illustrations that you haven't seen before.
 Like their American counterparts, Russian children's publishers ran into the problem of the real space flights making the materials in their earlier editions obsolete within a few years. They also resorted to republishing thier books wih only a light updating to keep them current. As you can see this one had a new cover.
 Here is what a future exploration of Venus might look like. The jungle and the dinosaurs shows how the common understanding of what Venus might be like under the clouds had not been revised.
 And here is a future exploration of Mars. The vegetation and the flowing water is not too far off.
The basic rocket illustrations did not change and I especially love this comparison of the rocket to a Russian building rather than the usual skyscraper.
 In this launch pad illustration the cars and buses seem Russian also.

 This space station construction illustration is still the same but I like the red stars on the wings of the rocket.

Finally at the end of the book is the only substantial updating, a list of the launches and events since the 1959 first edition.