The Smithsonian's Air and Space Magazine has a cool photo essay of "supermarket spaceships," publicity-seeking mock-ups of rocketships that were paraded around to supermarket openings, state fairs, and the like in the 1950s.

Pictured above is an image via Connecticut's Space Age Museum of a truck-mounted rocket built by packaged-meat purveyors the Luer Packing Company. It had a 16mm projector inside to show space-themed films, and its design was inspired by 1950s TV show Space Patrol. The 40-foot craft was abandoned in Arizona, but was rescued by the Space Age Museum, which hopes to do a complete restoration.

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See all of the photos right this way, and bemoan the decline of this marketing gimmick from beyond the stars.

Via Boing Boing.