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029a-jets rockets spacemen cards phobos

029b-jets rockets spacemen cards phobos

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.

The slideshow below features some of my favorites. You can find a complete collection of both the fronts and backs of these cards, so you can take the entire journey, at http://www.lowellsplace.com/jrs/jrs_main_page.html

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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!

054a-jets rockets spacemen cards octopus

Octopuses in space!

058a-jets rockets spacemen cards polar cat

Vicious cats on other planets!

067a-jets rockets spacemen cards pirates

Space pirates!

051a-jets rockets spacemen cards pteranodon

Interplanetary Dinosaurs!

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

 

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