The postage stamps of the 1950s and 1960s, from all over the world, are full of hope for the future. There are Soviet rockets, Nigerian stamps showing "the peaceful use of outer space," and Israeli paeans to industry.

The amazing Karen Horton has been posting a set of her mom's old stamp collection on Flickr, and it's like a window into a future that never was. Here are our favorite stamps from her set, that depict space exploration or technology in a hopeful — not to mention insanely cool — fashion. Check out the rest, and bigger versions, over at the link. [Karen Horton on Flickr]

Soviet rocket ship

Nigerian stamp — peaceful use of outer space

Romanian stamp — Early Bird

Dutch postage stamp — cooling towers

Polish postage stamp

Germany/DDR postage stamp: electronics

Romanian stamp, space exploration

Israeli stamp celebrating aviation

Israeli stamp celebrating aviation

Bulgarian stamp — space ship

Iraqi stamp, air mail

Indonesian postage stamp: trains

Romanian postage stamp: telegraph

Spanish postage stamp: Brussels expo 1958

British Solomon Islands: International Telecommunication Union centerary