The people of Rocketdyne did amazing work over the years. They still do. But to get qualified people to do that work, they had to be recruited. One way was “Career Day’ as this photograph from the 1950s shows (left).
You only have to look at Cindy Green’s face to see that she seems really into the laboratory equipment that Drs. Janet and Walter Hamilton are showing off. Or at least into Walter — such was the sex appeal of Rocketdyne Research division scientists, apparently. Or such was Cindy who looks like she’s ready to ride a rocket ship. Let’s hope that Janet didn’t detect Cindy’s saucy gaze.
If Cindy didn’t cut it in the lab, she could always try her skills behind a desk like the young lady in the Rocketdyne brochure (right). We are mystified as to what she’s punching in to but we think the box on the floor with the hole in it is a shredder. This was the Cold War, after all, and sensitive documents had to be destroyed before those pesky Russian spies in the San Fernando Valley got their red hands on them.
One of our favorite images is the cover to this Rocketdyne booklet (left) that shows the fun things you can do in Southern California and, of all places, Neosho Missouri. Our favorite image in this classic Fifties tableau is the frolicking couple in bathing suits that look like they have third degree sunburns.
The most artistic image of this brochure is this one (right). The finely-wrought teal watercolor shows a rocket firing off on a test stand with exhaust plumes curly seductively into the sky. This art captures the wondrous world that a potential Rocketdyne employee would launch into if he or she were to be hired.
One of the rocket stands pictured in this 1950s brochure appears to be in the Bowl testing area of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in the hills between the Simi and San Fernando valleys (below).
Southern California and the rest of the nation owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women of Rocketdyne who helped propel America into space. Many of these aerospace and nuclear workers ended up paying a high price to lift us aloft into high places.