Monday, January 28, 2013

Little Golden Books

Little Golden Book, Chimpmunks' Christmas , Richard Scarry
Little Golden Books - The Chipmunks' Merry Christmas

I was sitting in my office, more or less minding my own business, when a office visitor, actually someone from an insurance company checking on our fire extinguishers and such,  mentioned that she liked my collection, especially the Little Golden Books.

 In fact, she (Beth Aroyo-Mirowsky) said that she had a collection of Little Golden Books!    It turns out that there is a whole subculture of people collecting Golden Books such as Little Golden Book Collector and  The Santis,  

Like many collections, the value seems to be that for many people, it reminds them of their youth and appeals to their nostalgia for happy days when their parents read to them..

Once I pulled my jaw back into place, I took the opportunity to pick her brain about the Little Golden Books.

Little Golden Book 1981
Western Publishing Company
We have about 50 Golden Books in my educational collection which she looked through.  There were five that she said were noteworthy and collectible.  For instance, I have a Little Golden Book called: "The Chipmunks' Merry Christmas", dated 1959.

Little Golden Book 1982
Western Publishing Company
This book seems to be noteworthy for a few reasons.  It is an early appearance of the Chipmunks (See their sweaters? Alvin, S? and T?). The price tag was $0.29.  

And the book was illustrated by Richard Scarry!

Richard Scarry,  in case you don't know, became a well-known children's author and illustrator best kown for Busy Town. He peaked in popularity in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  I think in the 50's he was still relatively unknown although he was already 40 in 1959.

I continued to look through my collection of Little Golden Books and I became intrigued by the elaborate artwork on the back covers. 

The Golden Books back covers are amazing in a few ways including the breadth of characters represented.


 I see Big Bird from Sesame Street Productions; Mickey Mouse, Bambi, and Donald Ducks from Walt Disney; Bugs Bunny from Warner Brothers; and Smokey the Bear from....(Gosh, who owns Smokey, the US Park Service)? Here's a few different Golden Book back covers.

Golden Books was founded in 1942 and was led by the Bank Street Writer's Association which later evolved in the Bank Street School of Education.

 Here's a fun trivia question: What was the most popular of all the Golden Books?

Answer: It was not even close. There was one book that outsold all the others many times over.  At one point, it had sold more than almost all the other combined.  It 
was the story of a little puppy who was not so good at rule following. Of course, it was the Poky Little Puppy. 

Golden Books are still published today and greatly resemble the originals. They belong to Random House.

This blog also has an article about the Big Little Books, a type of book introduced in the early 1930s. And there's an article about Encyclopedias and Dictionaries (especially the World Book Encyclopedia).

Little Golden Book 1972
Western Publishing

Golden Book - Golden Press 1959
Copyright Monarch Music 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Polaroid Instant Camera

I'm of a certain age (mid50's!) and so I remember using Polaroids back when they were very high tech.  The excitement was that you could take a picture and look at it right away!

Somethings never change, right?  Think today's cell phones, Instagram, Twitter, and hordes of other instant tools for sharing images.

Back then, the image would slowly appear over around 90 seconds (as best I can remember) after you yanked out the paper from the camera.  It came with a four tube that had a spond in it drenched in some sort of "fixed" which we would rub over the picture once it had finished developing.  It felt very technical, high tech, and exciting.

Edward Land started the camera reportedly inspired by  his daughter who .."wanted to see the picture NOW!"  The camera and company's highlights were in the 1960-80s when it was lauded as an example of American technological and entrepreneurial prowess.  Wikipedia summarizes it as:

Polaroid Corporation is an American-based international consumer electronics and eyewear company, originally founded in 1937 by Edwin H. Land. It is most famous for its instant film cameras, which reached the market in 1948, and continued to be the company's flagship product line until the February 2008 decision to cease all production in favor of digital photography products.

Educational Technology: 2012 or 1972?

This blog of old educational technology documents my office collection of previous educational technology "revolutions."  It is both for fun and to avoid any hubris thinking that our revolution in ed tech is the one that's really going to make the difference.
Dan Meyer posted an interesting article called: Is This Press Release From 2012 or 1972?
And I quote/paraphrase:
Here are five quotes, some from 2012 others from 1972. Can you tell them apart?
#1 Educators and parents across the country seem to agree that a system of individualized instruction is much needed in our schools today. This has been evident to any parent who has raised more than one child and to every teacher who has stood in front of a class.
#2 [This product] allows the teacher to monitor the child's progress but more important it allows each child to monitor his own behavior in a particular subject.
#3 The objectives of the system are to permit student mastery of instructional content at individual learning rates and ensure active student involvement in the learning process.

#4 This is a step towards the superior classroom, because the system includes material that can be used independently, allowing each child to learn at his own rate and realize success.
#5 The technology, training program, and management technique give the teacher tools for assessment, mastery measurement, and specified management techniques.
Okay, they're all from 1972, from a piece called "Do Schools Need IPI? Yes!
For the rest of the article, you'll need to go to Dan's blog post:  Is This Press Release From 2012 or 1972?