America is space crazy right now. With photos of galaxies and nebulae whizzing around Facebook, Pintrest, and Tumblr, the popularity of Cosmos, and the promise of programs like SpaceX, space dreaming might seem all very new. But the Space Age began in the 1950’s, when the Russians launched Sputnik.
Space exploration provided a canvas for post-war optimism to paint wild fantasies for what the future held. Many of the artifacts left over from this spirited time can be found on Etsy. Here’s some of our favorites.
This is a reprinted Soviet-era space program poster, and it’s for sale at SovietArt alongside many other prints from the heyday of the Soviet Union.
It reminds me this old joke:
When NASA started sending astronauts into space, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside-down, on almost any surface–including glass–and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 C.
The Russians used a pencil.
It’s not a true story, unfortunately. Both space programs used pencils initially, but then switched to the (in)famous Space Pen because broken pencil tips posed a threat to astronauts and their equipment.
This genuine vintage Thermos-brand lunchbox from becaruns‘ Etsy store. Apparently, the young owner scratched “Boddy” onto the box…possibly trying to spell Bobby? Cute and authentic.