50 years ago, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. When they returned, along with fellow Apollo 11 crewmember Michael Collins, humanity was more obsessed with space than ever. But the Space Age had already begun 12 years earlier.
The Space Age took off in October 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit. Since then, America, and the rest of the world, was seized with a feverish obsession with all things interplanetary. Advertising naturally picked up on the trend and inserted planets, rockets, and astronauts wherever possible.
The Space Age extended way beyond advertising — it ushered in giant tailfins on American cars, Googie architecture, and ground-breaking science fiction films like Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” But these print adverts, which advertised everything from Frigidaire refrigerators to Omega wristwatches, managed to capture our love of all things space.
Here are the most memorable ads that captured the Space Age.