Monday, July 23, 2007

Vintage Science Book Pictures

I love finding tattered science books from thrift stores filled with information about the science of the fifties and sixties. The best parts are the pictures! When I use to live in Arcata, I would often find science book treasures at the recycling center, for free! I'm posting some of my favorite science book finds.




GROUP ONE: Animals

I got all these pictures from the same group of science books. There were ten of them! I have to say that with the picture in this group, its not so much the actual photographs (although some really tickle my funny bone), but it is the way that writer decided to describe the pictures. The titles are hilarious. My guess to the origins of these funny titles are: 1. this was just normal text book lingo in the fifties (this is the theory i think is least likely to be true) 2. The writer of the text book didn't want to be a text book writer. In fact, it was the last thing he thought he'd be. When he was young he always fell into day dreams during science class. These day dreams would include fantastic adventures and amazing worlds, not nitty gritty, tedious science! The writer of these text books wanted to be a fiction writer. (and he probably wrote fiction stories similar to his day dreams.) But, it is hard establishing your self as a writer, so he needed a day job! So, he became a professional text book writer. To ease his boredom and his resentment at his job, he spent time with giving the pictures creative titles. or 3. the writer was trying to give the science books a more light hearted feeling so that kids would be more drawn to learning about science.























































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GROUP TWO: Modern Biology

Of course this was published many years ago, so it is not so modern biology any more. I love the art in this book. I can imagine what the artist was like! She was a child growing up in the 1940's. Her dad was off to war and her mom spent her days working in a factory. She had two older brothers and the three of them spent there childhood wondering though the forests nearby their house. Her brothers were her best friends and her greatest role models, and with their adventurous influence, she was easily converted into a tom boy, leaving behind ribbons and dolls for mud and base ball. Her brothers adored there little sister, but sometimes they would sneak off and play with out her. So she was left to her own devices where she would collect bugs or frogs. Or else she would climb a tree, take out her sketch book ands draw the natural world around her. She didn't relate to the other little girls, so when her brothers were not around all her energies were spent on art and science. When she grew older, she was thrilled that a job that included her two favorite things existed! Of course it was hard for her to break into a career in the mid fifties. She endured many sneers from those who thought she should be home cooking and cleaning. She spent a whole childhood defying gender norms, so she was prepared for the struggle into the career of her dreams. She had talent and gumption, so she was able to break into the industry with success!

































































































































































































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GROUP THREE: Lovely....

Aesthetically, these pcitures capture my fancy!