Friday, October 20, 2017

"Off For the Moon" SRA Reading Laboratory Brown 15 (1958)

Here is an interesting piece of space education ephemera. "Off For The Moon" adapted from Tom Corbett's Wonder Book of Space (Wonder Books, NY, 1953). Written by Marcia Martin and illustrated by Frank Vaughn.

Back in the years I was in school, SRA (Science Research Associates) Reading Library was a standard way to teach English and reading skills.

It has a fascinating history, described here:

I found one of the early reading cards in this series "SRA Elementary Edition 15 Brown." Here is the letter from the SRA publisher's office to the publisher of the original book at Rockhill Productions:

I really enjoy this early space story since much of the content (book was 1953) was becoming more likely with the rise of the Space Race.  It now does not read as fiction any more.

Each of these "cards" also had questions about the story the student had just read, including references to the "line number" where the answer might be found.

Just a delightful memory to me of reading through these cards in the 1960s and working my way through the "colors." Although I do agree with the final statement of the author I linked to above:

"The behavior I learned: burn through the cards as quickly as possible and once you finish the last color – was it purple? – the teacher shrugs and lets you choose your own reading."

Friday, October 13, 2017

The First Three or 2001 (1971)

This is a pleasant Russian fictional story about some of the first children to become astronauts.  Given that I can't read the text I am reduced to sharing some interesting stylized illustrations.

The First Three or 2001. Mikhalkov. Moscow. 23 cm. 64 p. 1971.

As I said this book seems to be about 3 children (brothers and sister?) who are invited to go to Mars. They will be the first children who will go there. Titov German Stepanovich is chief of the General Agency Interplanetary Links (he is on picture with children).
 Introducing the characters
 The complexity of the rockets suggests that maybe these are longer distance vehicles (outer solar system or interstellar?)

 How many of you seeing the side view of the ship behind the professor think Star Trek?

 There is an implied stereotype in that the female is serving the males food. 
One of my readers corrected me: "the girl Natasha is showing to the boys tomatoes from greenhouse of cosmoplane."

 I do love seeing the computers and their paper tape. Who wants jet packs, I miss computers that spurt streamers.

A final painting of our frontier waiting to be explored.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Mercury Program Trading Card Vending Machine poster (1963)

A poster of Mercury astronauts from 1963 with a good story. I came across this poster and started to research where it came from.  It turns out it was an advertising poster from a trading card vending machine.  Here is the listing and photographs from an auction of it.

 "Mercury program-era Astronauts and Spacecraft trading card vending machine, 10 x 23.5 x 11.5, manufactured by The Exhibit Supply, Co., of Chicago, Illinois.

For a charge of two cents, the "'Compact' Mechanical Vacuumatic Card Vender" sold 32-card packs that commemorated the achievements of the six pilots of the Mercury program. The machine face is detached but present, and consists of a functional spring lever, coin slot, card dispensing space at bottom.

The  poster lists the names of the six pilots and images of the moon, a launching Saturn rocket with tower, and Friendship 7 Pilot John Glenn smiling in his flight suit and helmet. 

I hope you enjoy this nice piece of ephemera.