JF Ptak Science Books Post 1120
Rounding out the image dump from yesterday are these additions to the developing category "Strange Things in the Sky". The odd things in today's issue include floating tetrahedra, an exploding Moon, a hovering anti-gravity Dr. Seuss pool, a Russian rocket pioneer's enormous apartment building-like dirigible, and a steamship balloon.
The first, without any explanation and offered as a pure art form, is this illustration by Frank R. Paul for Wonder Stories of November 1931.
Next, another Paul cover for Science Fiction Plus for August 1953, illustrating a story where the Moon explodes
Other strangeness in the sky is Dr. Seuss’ swimming balloon pool from his Oh, the Thinks you can Think. . I’ve seen some interesting images of balloons and dirigibles taken as serious efforts that reminded me of that double-page spread by the good Doctor.
This may have been the Omega end of bad ideas in the career of Zilkowsky, who is better known by the other spelling of his name, Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (1857-1835), a Russian misanthrope and space pioneering genius who wrote more than 500 works on rocketry and exploration including what is arguably the first tech word ever done in the field (in 1903, The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices). Tsiolkovsky somehow lasted through purges and Stalinist tirades, while few of his colleagues did—many mysteriously disappeared, while others went to prison and disappeared there. (Stalin’s crude and insatiable blood lust, perhaps the worst of the century, knew no bounds, not even to the scientists who could conceivably hand him reigns of rocket/missile-propelled power.) Anyway, Tsiolkovsky’s dirigible was composed of a collapsible metal so that the aircraft could form its own hangar when “docked”. I don’t know where to begin with this one…
The next entry is the ship-balloon of Thaddeus Lowe
(1832-1913) One of Lowe’s great contributions in the
history of ballooning was providing aerial reconnaissance via (panoramic)
photographs to the Union army on Confederate army positions—particularly the
Rebel positions at Richmond (1864) and Fredericksburg (1862). (He had a wide
span of professional interests and wound up living the high life in
Lastly for today is this lovely history of balloon and aeroplane flight published in The Illustrated London News for 3 July 1909, called "The Evolution of the Great War-ships of the Air: Balloons, Non-Dirigible and Dirigible, and Aeroplanes, from the Seventeenth Century to the Twentieth Century". It is more fully explained here in an earlier post I made to this blog, laboring the point that 8% of the 60 air vehicles involved a horse.