Friday, January 6, 2012

COLLECTION #137: Vintage School Science Books

Science was not my favorite subject in grade school. I didn't mind learning about sprouting seeds and magnets in the early elementary school years, but I didn't care much for learning about space travel and beginning physics in the later grades. I did take biology in high school, but avoided physics, chemistry and earth science.

I think I have nearly as many school science books as I do school music books. That is, a LOT! I prefer the early books: seeing sweet illustrations of little children playing in the snow, learning about the seasons; and photos or illustrations of them learning about baby animals or watching seeds grow, just makes me nostalgic for those days gone by.

I'm not going to give you much detail about my books, I'll just post the illustrations and let you draw your own conclusions. I'll insert a note or two when appropriate. These books are from the 1930s to the early 1960s- think it will be obvious to you which books are the oldest. In several cases I have two different versions of the same book- just different publish dates. Often these books have newer, more 'modern' illustrations in the later version. Enjoy!

Sweet pages from the Science Stories, above. These were published by Scott, Foresman, who published the Dick and Jane books. They also published Art Stories.

Later edition of the books shown above.
Awesome illustration from We See, above
The science books are published by Heath, the one on the left is a later edition of the one next to it.
A page from the earlier, 1950s edition.
The same page from the later, early 60s edition.
Science for slightly older children.

Space was a big deal to the children of the Sputnik era

Books for older elementary age children, late 1950s.
A nearly complete set of science books by the Winston Co.
All the books from the series, including the earlier editions.

Love this one... those magnets!!!
It's nice to know that girls can build!


Calsidyrose said...

I love vintage science books, too, and have one or two from several of the series that you have (although your stash has mine beat!).

Goldielover said...

I have all three of the Scott Foresman Science Stories books. Beautifully illustrated, too. I also have an almost complete set of the paperback How and Why Wonder Books from the 1960s. My other science books are really aimed more at older kids or adults, such as the seven volume Harmsworth Popular Science which is from about 1913 and the six volume Nature Book published by Waverley in about 1922. Your collection of science textbooks certainly trumps mine, though.

Stefanie Eskander said...

I have a number of the How and Why books too, but not nearly a complete set. I have no idea why I didn't think to include those in this collection! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Goldielover!

Librarian said...

Hello Stefanie,
I have stumbled across your blog quite by coincidence, looking for pictures of the vintage school book "Science Near You". My sister and I somehow had that book on our shelves when we were young, even though we never went to an American school (we are German and have lived in Germany all our lives, but had plenty of US military living and working in our area).
Just the other day we were talking about those days, and my sister remembered the book we once had, how much we liked its illustrations.
I wonder what happened to our copy - and also wonder whether you would be willing to part with the three books from that series in your collection.
All the best,

Stefanie Eskander said...

Hi Meike:
I will have to check to see if I have those books handy, many of my books are in storage because we moved twice since I wrote this. I would be willing to sell them. Please email me: