Sci-fi wallpaper (and other designs for children)
The wallpaper was produced more than a decade before the moon landing and owes more to fantastical 1950s sci-fi animation than the reality of Apollo 11, but it shows how space travel captured the public’s imagination in the 1950s and 60s.
Wallpapers for children's rooms
This sci-fi wallpaper came from a particular genre of wallpaper designs especially created for children’s rooms or nurseries.
Prior to the 1840s, it was typical to find nurseries very plainly decorated with little ornament. But from the mid-19th century, nurseries increasingly became a focus of decoration and it is during this period that wallpapers specially designed for the nursery begin to appear.
Many wallpapers designed for children in the second half of the 19th century were made to be educative and uphold moral standards of the day. The illustrations themselves were often taken directly from children's books. One such wallpaper depicts the tale, Dick Whittington & his cat, which is divided into individual panels like pages from a book. The well-worn story follows Dick’s rise from poverty partly through a kindly family but mostly because of his rodent loving cat.