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Love the old S&T magazines of my youth

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:26 PM

During this stupidity now going on in our country, I find myself looking into the past, to get away from all this stuff. I truly enjoy looking at the old pictures in vintage S&T magazines, of people who were into Astronomy, either as a hobby, or it being their occupation. From my magazines, and especially the earliest ones, say from 1948 up to the 60's ( these are the ones I like the best ) I see many article pictures that I wish I could go back and be a part of.

Seeing pictures of groups getting ready for  lunar eclipse, or a solar eclipse, and see the excitement on their faces. The places they would go to, quiet places, old time houses and barns etc all around. The darker skies. And seeing the older vintage telescopes that they are so proud of, and it just brings back good feelings that I would say that many old timers will never see again.

How exciting it must be for being back in the 50's, having an Edmund telescope, being camped out in a very rural area with others who have their vintage scopes, waiting for a solar eclipse, or a bright comet, or a lunar eclipse. 

The 1948 January issue has the 200 inch Palomar mirror being hauled up the mountain by an old diesel semi, with two semis behind pushing, and one man standing on top of the crate that the mirror was in. I know he must have been really excited, along with many others who were involved.

There are several articles about some colleges having small observatories being built for the students, and showing the students standing and looking at the construction with anticipation. Then there are many pictures from all over the country, showing observing groups, where they observe from etc. There are pictures of some people who we have later bought scopes from, who are at old Star parties. One of the best ones has an article about Roger Tuthill, when he was very young, and his big telescope he made for one of the star parties. Then Mr Dankin's telescope that he made.

There are so many good reading articles about space exploration, the unknowns about life on Mars, 

so much anticipation that we older ones grew up with.

So this is how I unwind from the tensions that have over taken this country from every angle. Get your old books out, try to remember the good old days, and keep your vintage scopes to help you along. I guess I just want to go back, but knowing that is impossible, I will do the next best thing , get out the vintage books and get deep into the past.

 


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#2 John Miele

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:50 PM

Hi Billy,

 

I'm probably a little younger than you (I'm crowding 60) but I can identify with most of what you wrote. I do the same thing with old back issues. It's fun and relaxing. It sure does seem like it was a simpler and slower time back then with maybe deeper satisfaction being achieved with basic equipment. I can barely turn on the news these days without my anxiety level going up! 

 

John


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#3 spereira

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:57 PM

Folks, let’s please make sure that we stay on-topic, and leave the political comments out or the conversation.

 

smp


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#4 bobhen

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 08:08 AM

I also find myself rereading old issues. My first issue was February 1978. Alas, a few years ago after 40-years of continuously subscribing, I dropped S & T when they were bought by F+W Media, one of the worst companies around. But I still have all of my old issues.

 

Bob

 

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#5 GOLGO13

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 09:13 AM

I agree it's fun to read the old magazines and put yourself in that timeframe. Turns out I'm only missing 1948 to 1951 magazines for S&T (I have them digitally though).

 

I like looking at the old ads also!

 

Your post reminds me a little of the song "I wanna go back" by Eddie Money. He says, "I wanna go back, and do it all over. But I can't go back I know."

 

Of course that song reminds me of my ex girlfriend more than astronomy. But it's the same concept.

 

I have about 15 magazines of "The Sky", the magazine before it merged with "The Telescope" and became Sky and Telescope. Those are very good magazines also. I also have those digitally. 

 

One thing I like doing is checking out the new Sky and Telescope magazines where they mention magazine articles from 25, 50, 75 years ago and then reading those articles. Now if I can only find the 1948 to 1951 magazines sometime! Could be tough.


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#6 GOLGO13

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 09:16 AM

I'd probably suggest going digital lol.gif  ... however, I personally greatly prefer the physical copy. The smell, the feel, the quality of the paper. But man it's a lot of magazines.
 
Sky And telescope3
thesky1937

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#7 Jeff B1

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 10:53 AM

Funny, back in 2000 I sold all my collection of Astronomy and S&T, except those with my articles or juicy Mars pieces, on eBay.  300 pounds of them!   300 pounds!  I still have a few pounds left.   BUT!   I bought the digital S&T collection and enjoy them still.  Not sure Astronomy has digital stuff. 

 

I really like reading Richard Berry's Telescope Making Magazine, but since they are not digital each issue is getting bit raggedy.  Or tattered, which ever comes first.   Then there is:  Amateur Astronomy, Amateur Telescope Makers Journal (ATMJ,ICARUS, International Amateur Professional Photoelectric Photometers (IAPPP), International Occultation and Timing Association (IOTA), Journal of the Arbeitskreis Planetenbeobachter, Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (J.A.L.P.O.),  Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR), NDABA Natal Centre Newsletter, OAA Communication, Observatory Techniques Magazine, Publication of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), Southern Sky Magazine, The Astronomical Journal (AAS) -- the list goes on.

 

Gollylee........


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#8 donstar

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 01:00 PM

Lots of wonderful memories!  Wish I'd kept mine! 



#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 05:55 AM

It sure does seem like it was a simpler and slower time back then with maybe deeper satisfaction being achieved with basic equipment.


The grass is always greener in retrospect. No doubt that's partly because we edit our memories. Also, back when we were children it was our parents who bore the brunt of the world's woes.

 

The era being described is known to historians as the Cold War. Not a very cozy time, if you can remember it clearly.

 

I still think that the golden age of amateur astronomy is right now. The only thing that's really changed for the worse is light pollution. Though even that was pretty close to current levels by the early 1960s.


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#10 spereira

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 08:25 AM

... It sure does seem like it was a simpler and slower time back then with maybe deeper satisfaction being achieved with basic equipment. ...

 

No doubt about that!  I remember seeing an ad for a company offering many things, and also a catalog.  I would send a request in the mail for the catalog.  Time went by.  Receive the catalog.  Perhaps have to save up for an item I wanted.  Later, mail off the order form - no way could I make a phone call to order, as those long distance charges were far too high!  More time went by.  Receive the item, having no idea when it might arrive.  Then finally be able to use this new item - hopefully good instructions came along with it if it was some sort of new capability I had not had before!

 

This was a much, much slower cycle of acquiring equipment and doing Astronomy!  Contrast that to today when you see something on the Internet, and with a few cklicks, the order is made, and the item often arrives in 2-3 days!

 

smp


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