Space clocks

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Nov 26, 2009
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Today, exactly 60 years of the first man's flight into space.
These are the Soviet clocks from the 1960s:
View attachment 649089 View attachment 649090 View attachment 649091

Regards
Tatyana
Those are really something!! I like them a lot. The kind of "kitsch" I would love to own.

Please permit me to provide some historical context for these clocks. Clock design doesn't occur in a vacuum.

In the late "50's, through the '60's and into early '70's, the "Space Race" captivated the world. It was basically a fierce "Cold War" rivalry between the USSR and the US. Very strong political overtones.

The USSR was the first "out of the gate", to use a figure of speech, with Sputnik:

sputnik.jpg

The first satellite/man made object sent into space. Caused quite the stir.

Another first for the USSR was the momentous occasion commemorated by the posted clocks, the flight of Yuri Gagaran, the first man in space (though lest we forget he was proceeded by the first Soviet dog in space, Laika):

yuri gagarin.jpg

The ultimate prize, so to speak, would ultimately go to the US with the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon in 1969. I remember watching it on TV!

There was a clock produced at the time:

lunar landing clock.jpg

I can't read the maker's name, but I bet it was made in Germany!! Not too small an irony in that given that the space programs of BOTH countries owed much to scientists who developed rockets for the German military during WWII. Werner von Braun surrendered to and ultimately worked for the US.

There was also a souvenir wrist watch produced:

apollo 11 watch lunar.jpg

A very interesting time to have lived through!

I don't own either object.

For anyone interested, read the Tom Wolfe book, "The Right Stuff". Was also a pretty good movie.

RM
 
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Ralph

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Jan 22, 2002
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I've got one of these squirreled away somewhere. It needs to be put back together. It used to be quite valuable. I'm not sure what the market is today.

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I grew up in a TV shop and my dad had an old Hallicrafters shortwave radio in a back room. He didn't use it, but I was at that curious age, and like everyone at that time, knew about Sputnik, the Russian satellite. So a friend and I would sit there in the back room, dialing and dialing, searching for it's radio beeps on shortwave. We would hear something, anything and we would convince ourselves we picked up the signal. I doubt we ever did...

Ralph
 
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