bowman, cats in space, jets rockets and spacemen, outer space, pteranodon, science fiction, space octopus, space pirates, trading cards, vintage space art
Bowman produced these beautifully painted trading cards beginning in 1951: Jets, Rockets, and Spacemen! The “jets” cards merely showed normal airplanes with informative text on the back, but the rest of the series told a story about a fantastic space adventure, with each card as a chapter.
Though I only heard about these cards this year, the series is clearly a direct ancestor of the Meteor Mags stories. Its conception of space involves pirates, cats, octopuses, and dinosaurs (flying reptiles, actually: pteranodons). That’s my kind of space adventure!
The gallery below features some of my favorites.
I love keeping up with current developments in space exploration, but I guarantee you that interplanetary travel will never kick as much ass as it did in 1951! Tragically, this series stopped before the complete story was told. You can read more about its production and why it was never finished at https://www.psacard.com/articles/articleview/6976/psa-set-registry-1951-bowman-jets-rockets-spacemen-trading-card-thats-blasting-off-popularity
Edward Dietrich said:
I never knew about “Jets Rockets” (as they are colloquially called among collectors) until 1989 when I started collecting vintage cards. If you think about it, the set, issued in 1951 was undoubtedly illustrated by men who were at least 25+ years old, meaning they would have been children during the 1930s when Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers comics and movie serials were at their peak. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the cards sorta-kinda resemble the look of those popular sci-fi franchises of that era.
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