Monday, February 25, 2013

Sugar Jets "Major Jet FilmoVision" (1954)

 A short one today, from a 1954 Sugar Jets cereal box. Sugar Jets was not only the space age cereal of the early 1950s but its mascot was Major Jet! 


 Maybe this is not space age enough for you, however I find these adventures pretty cool.

As you can see FilmoVision was cardboard strips that you could pretend to watch an adventure with.

I like the space age "television."  It is well worthy of our space hero. And the adventures below speak for themselves. Who doesn't like Jet Helicopters and Amphibious Jets!
Here is an undated photo I found on the internet of  Major Jet in person.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bear in Space (1970)

Bear in Space has an unusual premise for a children's book. It is the fictional story of a bear who shares film of his vacation to the Moon with his animal friends, but that is not the unusual part.

Bear in Space. Russia 48 p. 1970

 Going to the Moon
 Scenery on the way
 Checking out the secret Russian moonbase.
 Fooling around on the way home. If this photograph doesn't convince you that a bear can go to space I don't know what will. And the return to Earth (who needs those complicated re-entry plans)

The twist is (like we all know) he never really went to the Moon but faked it with camera special effects!

The idea of how film or photographs can be faked seems unique to me as the topic of a children's book. Most of the illustrations in the book are devoted to how he created the realistic looking photographs. Science fiction special effects for kids.

 In some ways this book is really about how we can be fooled by accepting what we see.

 This illustration in particular was a special effect that I only learned about when I read about the filming of 2001. This is pretty good technology for a Russian bear, no wonder they beat us to space.

The book ends with the animals fooling around with the filming equipment and making their own photographs.

If a headless space mouse doesn't make your day, like it does for me, then you have lost your sense of wonder. Keep dreaming of space.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

4 years of Dreams of Space!

Just a quick post recognizing that I am starting my 5th year of posting books and other cool space stuff to Dreams of Space.  This blog started officially Feb 2, 2009.  I continue to enjoy posting my thoughts about what I have found but I apologize for the decline in posting rate.

Looking back I set much too high a standard initially with my first month, with 17 posts in one month.  I am now aiming for 4-6 per month and may begin, as I have mentioned, going back to older posts and fleshing them out with additional pictures and commentary.

Here are some teasers for what is upcoming:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Rocket to the Moon (1950s?)

This is a single page from a comic story. Not sure when this was published. Probably drawn and written by Walter (Wally) Robertson (1896-1975) and appeared in a British Children's annual sometime between 1951 and 1957.

I am even unsure of the title of this strip so corrections are welcome. It has Rocket to the Moon written in faint pencil at the top,

For all that uncertainty, it represents an archetype of children's comics and stories about space.The story of: mad scientist/father/uncle invents a spaceship/rocket fuel and invites children to participate in a trip to the moon. This is not only the plot of countless comic stories but also of Heinlein's  Rocket Ship Galileo .

The whole page looks like this:

As you can see the page is filled edge to edge with art so to show this panel by panel I had to scan it in a variety of shapes.  Images like these were part of my imagination about what a trip into space would be like for me. It also reinforced the idea that children SHOULD go to the moon rather than boring adults who would not appreciate it. Let me outline the lessons this story gives us.

It will take new technologies to get to the moon. Probably some new innovation in increasing the power of the rocket or reducing the weight of the rocket.

 When the technology is understood spaceflight will be "as safe as in your bed"

There in no gravity in space so you will need to find ways and technologies to adjust to a new environment.

The Earth will look smaller from space as you leave it. Also at the time they are not sure why the Moon looks as it does, there were still discussion whether craters were caused by meteors or vulcanism

What would the Earth look like from the Moon? Are meteors still a danger when we travel in space?

 You will need a space suit to visit the moon and a source of oxygen.

We may use robots to help us explore the Moon.