The Space Race: Popular Culture (1950s)

space costumes
Figure 1.--Here two American boys are trick or treating as spacemen and of course holding their ray guns in 1955.

We see a growing interest in space after World War II, especially in the early-1950s. We note all kinds of indicators of a growing interest in both modern aircraft and space. I remember as a little boy being intralled by Captain Video on our first TV. It was a hard choice between him and Hopalong Casidy. There were all kinds of space movies, commonly facing alienes. Examples include: "Rocketship X-M" (1950), "Destination Moon" (1950), "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), "Flight to Mars" (1951), "Project Moonbase" (1953), "Cat-Women of the Moon" (1953). and "Conquest of Space" (1955). Cars began sprouring of all things tail fins by the mid-1950s. The movies also had Buck Roggers short features. Space also appeared in comic books and the funny pages. Disseyland when it opened had a Tomorrowland (1955). I rember as a Cub Scout making a model sollar system(1952). All kinds of spaver toys appeared including ray guns. I am not sured whst caused this as the actual work with missles did not get all that much publicity. All this began well before Sputnik and the space race took off in the public mind. One might dismiss popular culture as inconsequential, but the little boys of the 1950s were voters of the 1960s willing to support huge budget allocations for the spave race. And some became the scientists snd engineers that took man to the moon.


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Created: 8:58 PM 2/1/2010
Last updated: 8:58 PM 2/1/2010