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Kraft Rocket Ship Contest from the 1950's



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 23rd 03, 05:36 PM
Pete Zimmer
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Posts: n/a
Default Kraft Rocket Ship Contest from the 1950's

Now I am going to go very far back for this question:
Does anyone remember a nation-wide contest put on by the Kraft Company
in the 1960's that offered as a prize, a full sized, fully
operational, rocket simulator to a student who wrote the winning
essay? The student who won, donated it to Riverview Gardens Senior
High School in Riverview Gardens Missouri. I think that the student
got a cash prize in return. The rocket was mounted on a hydraulic
platform and it moved a little when it was operated. As I recall it
had seats for 4-6 people and had consoles for each with buttons,
switches and lots of flashing lights. I think there may have been a
small television set inside with closed circuit capabilities as well.
The "ship" was mounted in the front of the school on Sheply drive for
years before it was moved. I think it went to the Missouri State
School on Bellefountaine Road after a few years. I must have been
only 7-10 years old at this time which would have made it 1959-1962
era. I was able to sit in it with a few of the high-school kids when
it first arrived. I have an old photo of it outside of the school
that I will try and post.

If you remember anything, please let me know. Also, please ask around
and see if you get any results. I will post any reply for everyone
who wants to see the response that I get.

Sincerely,
JPZ

J. Peter Zimmer
President/CEO
Telsar Laboratories Inc

  #2  
Old September 23rd 03, 06:25 PM
Richard Kaszeta
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Posts: n/a
Default Kraft Rocket Ship Contest from the 1950's

(Pete Zimmer) writes:

Now I am going to go very far back for this question:
Does anyone remember a nation-wide contest put on by the Kraft Company
in the 1960's that offered as a prize, a full sized, fully
operational, rocket simulator to a student who wrote the winning
essay? The student who won, donated it to Riverview Gardens Senior
High School in Riverview Gardens Missouri. I think that the student
got a cash prize in return. The rocket was mounted on a hydraulic
platform and it moved a little when it was operated. As I recall it
had seats for 4-6 people and had consoles for each with buttons,
switches and lots of flashing lights. I think there may have been a
small television set inside with closed circuit capabilities as well.
The "ship" was mounted in the front of the school on Sheply drive for
years before it was moved. I think it went to the Missouri State
School on Bellefountaine Road after a few years. I must have been
only 7-10 years old at this time which would have made it 1959-1962
era. I was able to sit in it with a few of the high-school kids when
it first arrived. I have an old photo of it outside of the school
that I will try and post.

If you remember anything, please let me know. Also, please ask around
and see if you get any results. I will post any reply for everyone
who wants to see the response that I get.


I think you are talking about one of the Kraft Rockets, which were a
part of a circa 1959 contest. Does this look familiar:

http://www.solarguard.com/kraftrocket.jpg

?

They were similar to the Ralston Rockets, about which there is
actually a lot of information. (Do a web search on "Ralston Rocket").

There are a few space modeling web sites and mailling lists on which
the topic of the Ralston and Kraft rockets does come up on occasion.

--
Richard W Kaszeta

http://www.kaszeta.org/rich
  #3  
Old September 23rd 03, 06:58 PM
Bill Higgins
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Posts: n/a
Default Kraft Rocket Ship Contest from the 1950's

On 23 Sep 2003, Pete Zimmer wrote:

Now I am going to go very far back for this question:
Does anyone remember a nation-wide contest put on by the Kraft Company
in the 1960's that offered as a prize, a full sized, fully
operational, rocket simulator to a student who wrote the winning
essay? The student who won, donated it to Riverview Gardens Senior
High School in Riverview Gardens Missouri.


I'm not familiar with this one, but during the space-cadet craze of the
Fifties, there were several contests giving away simulated rocketships much
like this one.

The only one I have seen was rusting somewhere in Sault Sainte Marie,
Michigan in the Seventies and early Eighties. The degraded paint showed a
loaf of Wonder Bread, I think, and the likeness of a TV hero (Rocky Jones?
Captain Video? Not Tom Corbett, if I recall correctly...).

I was introduced this relic by lovably eccentric science fiction author
George M. Ewing, WA8WTE as we toured SSteM. Also got to eat lunch in the
Antlers Bar; don't miss it if you're in town. George says the rocket was a
contest prize, then later became a carnival attraction known as "Space Ship
Mars." For a dime you could enter the craft and sit in the pilot's chair,
amid all the electronics that blinked and beeped.

Time for a few prayers to Ghugle.

http://www.solarguard.com/kraftrocket.htm
(This is the comic-book ad for Kraft's contest.)

Space Patrol - Ralston Rocket Comments
http://www.solarguard.com/ralrckcomment.htm

Roaring Rockets - The Space Hero Files
http://www.slick-net.com/space/text/index.phtml

The Rocky Jones Silvercup Rocket http://silvercup0.tripod.com/
(This must be the one I saw in Michigan.)

Good account of finding the Silvercup Rocket:
http://www.solarguard.com/silvercuprk01.htm

Okay, there was a Kraft rocket, a Silvercup rocket, and a Ralston rocket,
maybe several copies of some of these. This was before my time; the
space-cadet fad had faded by the time I was old enough to recall what I saw
on TV. That's okay; I find these shows intriguing, but I wouldn't trade 'em
for Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, which I *did* get to see on TV!

--
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/ / - ~ -~~~~~~~~/_) / / / / / / (_) (_) / / / _\~~~~~~~~~~~zap!
/__// \ (_) (_) / | \
| | Bill Higgins Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
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  #4  
Old October 7th 03, 03:56 PM
Pete Zimmer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kraft Rocket Ship Contest from the 1950's

Thanks for the link to the ad. The Kraft Rocket was indeed the one
that landed at my old school and was the one that I got to sit in.
JPZ
Bill Higgins wrote in message ...
On 23 Sep 2003, Pete Zimmer wrote:

Now I am going to go very far back for this question:
Does anyone remember a nation-wide contest put on by the Kraft Company
in the 1960's that offered as a prize, a full sized, fully
operational, rocket simulator to a student who wrote the winning
essay? The student who won, donated it to Riverview Gardens Senior
High School in Riverview Gardens Missouri.


I'm not familiar with this one, but during the space-cadet craze of the
Fifties, there were several contests giving away simulated rocketships much
like this one.

The only one I have seen was rusting somewhere in Sault Sainte Marie,
Michigan in the Seventies and early Eighties. The degraded paint showed a
loaf of Wonder Bread, I think, and the likeness of a TV hero (Rocky Jones?
Captain Video? Not Tom Corbett, if I recall correctly...).

I was introduced this relic by lovably eccentric science fiction author
George M. Ewing, WA8WTE as we toured SSteM. Also got to eat lunch in the
Antlers Bar; don't miss it if you're in town. George says the rocket was a
contest prize, then later became a carnival attraction known as "Space Ship
Mars." For a dime you could enter the craft and sit in the pilot's chair,
amid all the electronics that blinked and beeped.

Time for a few prayers to Ghugle.

http://www.solarguard.com/kraftrocket.htm
(This is the comic-book ad for Kraft's contest.)

Space Patrol - Ralston Rocket Comments
http://www.solarguard.com/ralrckcomment.htm

Roaring Rockets - The Space Hero Files
http://www.slick-net.com/space/text/index.phtml

The Rocky Jones Silvercup Rocket http://silvercup0.tripod.com/
(This must be the one I saw in Michigan.)

Good account of finding the Silvercup Rocket:
http://www.solarguard.com/silvercuprk01.htm

Okay, there was a Kraft rocket, a Silvercup rocket, and a Ralston rocket,
maybe several copies of some of these. This was before my time; the
space-cadet fad had faded by the time I was old enough to recall what I saw
on TV. That's okay; I find these shows intriguing, but I wouldn't trade 'em
for Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, which I *did* get to see on TV!

  #5  
Old April 3rd 09, 10:39 PM
Pete Zimmer Pete Zimmer is offline
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First recorded activity by SpaceBanter: Apr 2009
Posts: 1
Default

Well here is an un-befitting end to this story. I promised to get back with all the information I could find, so here it is. I am sorry for the delay.


Pete¬¬
The Kraft contest was in the 50's, not the '60's. Probably '57 or '58.
During the '56¬'57 school year, only building 2 was completed,. and it
served as the eighth grade for the entire district, I was a student. Then
it became the High School for the '57¬'58 school year, the Cafeteria and gym
were completed followed closly by building 3. I graduated in '61. The
rocket ship appeared on the scene during either my freshman or sophmore
year.
No TV inside, it was an 8mm movie of what they thought a trip to the moon
would be like. It was not a simulator, just a publicity "thing" for Kraft.
The big rival for Riverview during my years was Hazelwood (no North or South
Hazelwood in those days). Before the Hazelwood football game, Hazelwood
kids came over during the night and painted the rocket ship their school
colors. The School then painted it back to the original colors and put a
six foot chain link fence around the rocket ship¬¬apparently believing
Hazelwood kids would not know how to climb a fence. The next year, they of
course painted it again. This time the school put three strands of barbed
wire on top of the chain link fence, it gave the appearance that our rocket
ship was in prison.
While you may have been impressed with the rocket ship as a small child, in
truth it simply was not "cool" to be seen in it if you were attending
Riverview in those years, I don't believe I ever knew anyone who actually
went in the thing.
I went to work for the Missouri Department of Mental Health in '69. In '71
or '72 I attended a meeting at the Bellefountaine Hab Center and when I
parked and looked up, there was the rocket ship. Now someone who never saw
the rocket ship would say "how do you know it's the same rocket ship".
Well, there was only one like it, it was very stubby and ugly. The
administrator at the time was Joe Kuntz, and when I went inside for the
meeting I asked Joe about the rocket ship. He said the Riverview School
Board offered it and a parent of a client was a contractor¬¬he poured the
concrete pad and moved the wonderful rocket ship. Joe did not really want
it, the facility served severly developmentally disabled youth, and the
significance of the rocket ship (assuming you believe it had significance)
was totally lost on that population.
I moved to the Nevada (Missouri) facility in late '73, which served DD
adults. In '75 or '76 I received a letter from Joe Kuntz, offering to
transfer the Rocket Ship to the Nevada facility, as it would be more "age
appropriate" for adults. During my High School years, I doubt I spent a
full minute of attention on the rocket ship¬¬it was just something that was
"there". But now, it seemed the damned thing was attempting to follow me
around¬¬like something out of a Stephen King novel. I wrote back to Joe and
refused his generous offer.
A few months later Joe had a contractor on site with a D9 Bulldozer. He had
the contractor dig a nice deep hole, push the rocket ship off of it's pad
and run over it several times with the big dozer, then push it into the hole
and cover it.
Pete, if you would like to be the owner of the rocket ship, I'm sure they'd
give it to you. You'd have to dig it up, but it's all there, just not as
tall as you remember it.
Mike Benzen


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Zimmer View Post
Now I am going to go very far back for this question:
Does anyone remember a nation-wide contest put on by the Kraft Company
in the 1960's that offered as a prize, a full sized, fully
operational, rocket simulator to a student who wrote the winning
essay? The student who won, donated it to Riverview Gardens Senior
High School in Riverview Gardens Missouri. I think that the student
got a cash prize in return. The rocket was mounted on a hydraulic
platform and it moved a little when it was operated. As I recall it
had seats for 4-6 people and had consoles for each with buttons,
switches and lots of flashing lights. I think there may have been a
small television set inside with closed circuit capabilities as well.
The "ship" was mounted in the front of the school on Sheply drive for
years before it was moved. I think it went to the Missouri State
School on Bellefountaine Road after a few years. I must have been
only 7-10 years old at this time which would have made it 1959-1962
era. I was able to sit in it with a few of the high-school kids when
it first arrived. I have an old photo of it outside of the school
that I will try and post.

If you remember anything, please let me know. Also, please ask around
and see if you get any results. I will post any reply for everyone
who wants to see the response that I get.

Sincerely,
JPZ

J. Peter Zimmer
President/CEO
Telsar Laboratories Inc
 




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