Here and Yet to Come: A 1957 Space Scrapbook

In the fall of 1957, my mother was 12 years old. She had a budding interest in science and an especial interest in space because 1) it was the fall of 1957 and 2) her father was an aeronautics engineer who was just being drafted (unsure if it was just before or just after Sputnik) into becoming an astronautical engineer (which he remained until he retired in the 1980s). From October to December of 1957, she clipped every story she could find (most likely from the Baltimore Sun).

I have created a preliminary scan of the scrapbook. In the future, I’d like to see if I can do a higher-quality one and correct the two errors I made during the scanning process. In once case, a clipping flipped over and I didn’t notice until after the PDF was completed. In the other, I forgot to remove one layered section of a story (many stories were positioned in layered format and had to be rearranged for scanning). Everything else should be readable.

This scrapbook provides a fascinating snapshot of three months in which the world changed dramatically. The clippings reflect optimism, fear, and some confusion. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

Space Travel: Here and yet to come, cover image


  1. Jaleta Clegg says:

    What a fascinating thing to discover! My mom was 17, living in Idaho, in 1957. I’m not sure what she remembers about Sputnik or the moon landing. I should ask her sometime.

    My FIL worked on the Minuteman missile guidance systems. He still won’t talk about much of what he did, partly because it was still classified last time I asked and now, sadly, because he has Alzheimer’s and can’t remember.

    I teach the Nuclear Science merit badge to Boy Scouts. Part of my class covers the development of the atom bomb and the cold war. They just can’t understand how much it changed the world.

  2. dewdcicle says:

    Serinterwebdipity is such a joy. You rock for sharing this & your mother did a fine job with her daughter. I look forward to sharing her scrapbook with my 8yr old daughter who loves to venture to the Cape with me for launches & might just scratch “<3 u Dad" in Martian soil one day. Cheers!

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