Friday, December 22, 2017

Your 1958 Shell Fertilizer Coloring Book (1958)

This is my Xmas posting but you may wonder what fertilizer has to do with space flight and children (and Xmas for that matter).

Your 1958 Shell Fertilizer  Coloring Book (1958)

Shell Chemical Corp was interested in appearing "space age" in their approach to customer sales. They created this coloring book and a  1958 calendar to "cash in" on Sputnik and the new fad for space flight.  Don't believe me, here is their fertilizer mascot as a Sputnik:

The coloring book was addressed to children but had a message for parents inside. I don't know at what event it was handed out or maybe it was from your local farm chemical dealer (P.S. for you non-science types NH3 is "ammonia".)

What really attracted me was the amazing "space age" illustrations of our farming future. From the cover they thought the future was 198*. This future even included using rockets and flying saucers to care for and gather the crops. The delightful details  make it a real "moment in time."  And of course look for Santa at the end.

 Factory farming at its height

 I love this futuristic house.
 Cattle ranching will be different in the future too. Maybe locating your cows by radar?
 I don't know what they are sending up in those rockets but I am sure it is safe :)

 I am not exactly sure what they are doing with that tree, but it extends WAY UP into the saucer

 Santa appears on the last page, no particular reason why.  

I know they also used these 12 illustrations in a 1958 calendar since I found a few images of the color illustrations they used. Happy holidays and have a great 2018!


  1. Same to you John. Have a great Christmas and all the best for 2018. Cheers, Paul, Moonbase Central.

  2. Merry Christmas to you too. That coloring book looks wonderful. It's full of space stuff and WTF. We're having a science fiction Christmas too.

    P.S. What do modern science fiction Christmas stories look like nowadays? Dystopia Santa - The Man in the High North Pole/