Friday, November 20, 2015

"A Chimp Shows the Way" My Weekly Reader March 6, 1961.

My Weekly Reader brought the world to our desks when I was in elementary school (just down the street from JPL). This particular issue highlights how the space program efforts were giving us the expectation that a manned launch would be happening soon. The first human flight was on 12 April 1961 (5 weeks after this issue) while the first U.S. flight was on May 5th, 1961 (2 months after this issue).

"The tests proved that a man may be able to make the same flight"

And just to test if you were paying attention, here is a MWR quiz:

Friday, November 13, 2015

"Who will Be Space Man Number 1?" (May 4, 1959)

Some of my most popular posts have been from My Weekly Reader, a weekly newspaper that used to be distributed in many school classrooms when I was growing up. Here is the announcement of the Mercury Astronauts team, May 4 1959 issue.

"Each would give his left arm to be the first man in space"
I hope you were paying attention, here is a short quiz to test your comprehension (we really did have to do these in class after a shared reading of the article.)

"how could such an attitude help you in tackling your everyday assignments?"

Friday, November 6, 2015

Russian Popular Science journal (1959) Part 2

This is another back cover illustrating a science fiction story inside. I really like the mechanical wings (maybe a little like those in the recent Tomorrowland film.)

One more post on this great journal.  There is lots of non-space stuff in here but wanted to share the space stuff so I sort of stayed on topic. Sorry the text of these posts is skinny but I have been working under some work deadlines.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Russian Popular Science journal (1959) Part 1

Lots of interesting issues in 1959. Again I don't know the title of the journal (Znanie-sila (Knowledge is Power)?) but really enjoy the illustrations.
 This was an illustration on the back cover from a science fiction story inside.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Russian Popular Science journal (1958)

Again this was not probably for children but fits more into popular images of space. I have no doubt that some older children looked at this magazine. I have no idea of its title or general contents but it seems to have been popular science and some science fiction.  (Possibly Znanie-sila (Knowledge is Power)) It reminds me of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics along with a number of popular technology journals. Feel free to share your additional information about it. Some of these illustrations are so good that I wanted to share them even if I did not know the context. This 1958 issue (maybe nov or Dec) was highlighting one of the latest Russian launches.

A very interesting illustration of the extreme conditions that humans may encounter during exploration.

Friday, October 16, 2015

First Men to the Moon reprint in German (1961)

I blogged back in March (March 13, 2015) about First Men to the Moon (1960) . I recently came across the German language edition which was published in 1961. While not a basic children's book in the English edition I was surprised that the German had very different illustrations and a much more "adult" look about it. Thought you might enjoy this. There seems to have been at least 2 covers on the German version. This second one may have been on the paperback.

 Here is the hardcover cloth cover.

I think this artist was much more of a technical illustrator than Fred Freeman.

It does not show as much with these first few, but unlike Freeman's seemingly freehand version these are much more carefully drawn.

1960 version by Freeman

I also like how the artist in this version "translated" the technology to engineering drawings

Still striking illustrations for a book aimed at the general public.

I think I like this Freeman "informal" version better.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Satellites in Space (1965)

Celebrating 58 years since Sputnik 1 was launched  (October 4th) I have a big Satellite post for you!

One of the joys of going through these old kids books is seeing books that were actually used by kids.  Here is a coloring book highlighting most of the recent satellites that children were aware of in 1965. An unknown child colored a number of these in this book and I find them charming.

The coloring book itself is really fun. The artist/author tried to give each satellite a personality as well as a basic fact or two about their mission.

You would not think that Sputnik 1 or Explorer could look so friendly. But these drawing give the sense of friendly observers watching over us.

It is also a nice history of how communication was the first mission of many satellites followed by observation.

Exploration and information gathering was yet another role for satellites and the artist tries to make them into heroes.

There were also the satellites involved in the exploration of the moon and planets as we contemplated how they might be explored.
This Ranger illustration may be my favorite!

Finally are the "other" satellites (including a space station). This is one of the few places I have ever heard some of these mentioned outside of some rather dry adult histories of space exploration.

Hope you enjoyed this colorful history of early satellites.