I find this 1950s-era needle book cover fascinating, because it mixes the stereotypically female activity of sewing with the stereotypically male interest in space travel. What is the connection here? Are these young women sewing spacesuits? Are they inspired by/chatting about the excitement of rocket science? Is there any tenuously plausible connection that can be made between a space ship named "The Moon" and sewing needles, other than that they are both silver?
Ha! It turns out we can't even make that connection, because a closer look at the packaging reveals that the needles are gold. It appears to be a blatant use of trendy space imagery to promote irrelevant household merchandise - much like the popular robot items of the same era.
Note that the girls' eyes look ever so slightly Asian, and the Earth is turned so Japan is even more prominent than the US - which makes sense, since the needles are made in Japan!
Notice that the two women are not on the spaceship, nor are they designing rockets and consulting at NASA Mission Control. No, they are at home on Earth, hand-sewing and discussing the merits of various needles. Thus the package merely reinforces the 1950s Space Age version of the tired old trope: women waiting for the adventurous menfolk to come home from the Sea. One of the women is simply mending the sails, or perhaps the work clothes of the absent menfolk.
The other woman, however, might be plotting a nasty surprise for Major Tom when he returns from Space. "These needles are really, really sharp, Betty ...."
"Look Betty! What does this needle remind you of?"
"Why, it has the aerodynamics of a rocket ship."
"Not what I had in mind Alice, but now that you mention it..."
and the Earth is turned so Japan is even more prominent than the US
and they left out New Zealand entirely. Hello?!
Mind you, they also seem to have left out the Arctic and Antarctic ice. And a lot of other places, I guess. You always notice your own place, though, eh? :-)
You always notice your own place, though, eh? :-)
Maybe that's why I was upset to notice the Moon isn't actually depicted on the box.
I think the light behind the women actually is reflected by the moon. These are moon-women! So here's another trope: space sailors being from home long enough to start hallucinating 'women in the moon'.
"Really, I tell you Mary, it's like, this needle is a space rocket, and my eye is the moon," "That is so interesting Ellen! Now why don't you gentle lower the space ship and fly it back to the comfortable yellow hangar I made for it"
Geez, what a rip. The least they coulda done was put tail fins on the needles. You know, like the ones on real rocketships.
It seems obvious to me, the rocket ships (long, sharp, metal, new, modern, able to glide effortlessly) reflect the same qualities the needle manufacturer wishes to associate with thier product.
It seems to me the manufacturer was simply attempting to create an association between the qualities of the rocket ships (long, sharp, metal, new, modern, able to glide effortlessly) and thier needles.