I was born in late 1956, and if there was a cultural icon for my youth, it was The Space Age.
The Space Age was a phenomenon that went far beyond the doings of NASA. It touched almost every aspect of our culture. Kids a few years older played with six-shooters and wore coonskin caps, but my playthings were plastic rockets and metal robots with flashing lights. Cars started resembling aircraft before I was born, and by 1960 were imitating spacecraft, with odd chrome rocket tubes sticking out the back.
Many things had a space theme. Near my house was the Orbit Bar and the Astronaut Laundromat. Sofas and household appliances sought to be sleek and futuristic. One canister vacuum cleaner became a ball, and likened itself to a satellite. The Space Age was best seen in advertising. If a product could be shown in space, it was. Pens, televisions, blenders, all were launched into orbit with Sputnik by Madison Avenue.
Another trait of the Space Age was optimism of a Better Tomorrow. Thirty years later Donald Fagan wrote of this in his songs "What A Wonderful World It will Be" and "New Frontier". Magazines revealed that in The Future, that is, in the decade or so before the turn of the century, we would be driving in flying cars, fixing our meals in robotic kitchens, relaxing whilst our atomic powered homes were cleaned by robots. This was The Promise. At least the promise made to a little boy who soaked in all in with wonderment. One of the first books I remember reading was one of those cardboard covered booklets for first graders titled "You Will Go To The Moon", which described a passenger trip to the moon. I took the title literally. I would go to the moon.
The Promise was never fulfilled, and from the looks of things, never will be. This site is dedicated to , oh, what could have been!
The Space Age, according to popular myth, began in 1957 with the launching by the Russians of Sputnik. But I see that the era actually began much earlier.
The 1939 World's Fair was a showcase of The new Tomorrow. Television got its general introduction to the public. A country weary of doing without looked forward to that clean, glittering future. They would have to wait for awhile.. World War Two came along.
By 1946 the public was REALLY ready for this Better Tomorrow. We'd made fantastic advances in science , accelerated by the fervor of war. We now had jet airplanes, rockets, and computers. And the Atomic Bomb. This page is about:
Science Fiction, finned cars, kidney shaped coffee tables, Philco Predicta televisons, Tom Swift, Tom Corbett-Space Cadet, Theremin music, Dave Brubeck, Stan Kenton, Amana Radar Ranges, toy robots, toy spaceships, Space Family Robinson, Lost In Space, Magnus Robot Fighter, Dell Four Color Comics, The Ventures, Fireball XL-5, Supercar, Matt Mason, 2001:a space odyssey, Dynasoar, Disney's Tomorrowland, The Mercury Astronauts, lava lamps, and more.
If you have anything, pictures, essays, articles, about the above, let me know. If you don't know about all of the above, stay tuned...
LOST IN SPACE
Essays, Photos, & Links
ARTIFACTS OF THE SPACE AGE new!
BRITISH SF PUPPETS a nostalgic look at Gerry Anderson's various Science Fiction shows
SPACE AGE GALLERY images of a future that never was
SPACE GALLERY ANNEX space views of the '50s.
eBay check out some of the cool stuff I have for sale.
visitors since 24 APR 98
last updated:10 JUN 1999
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