Vintage Estes Rockets Site Updates

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January 2, 2017

Happy 87th Birthday Vern!

Well, I'm back with an update after an event filled 24 months. Time is certainly flying by. Just a few updates to the K-Kit Registry. Still have a mountain of promotional items to clean and add to the Promotional page. Received a large amount of Tejon Denver materials from Andy Andres, and am presently cleaning and scanning everything before posting. I have time over the next few months to get it all done. Of special note is an extensive upcoming update on the catalogs.

 

Thank you for all of your feedback and compliments on the site.  If you have kits that are not listed here, drop me a line and I'll add them to the Registry and credit you for your contribution.

 

The total number of K-Kits identified is now at 416

K-7: Added Type I to the pre Damon Hang Tag variety

K-13: Added Type IIIb to the Yellow Double Oval Hang Tag variety

K-15: Redesignation of Type III, Type IIIa added

K-27: Redesignation of Type IIIa, Type IIIb added to the Red Double Oval Hang Tag variety

K34: Corrected the Hang Tag Varieties for the Type IIa kit

 

January 12, 2015

Quite a large update today. Lots of new thumbs and kits added to the K-Kit Registry. Still have a mountain of promotional items to clean and add to the Promotional page. Of special note: January 4 was Vern's 85th birthday. Happy Birthday Vern!

The total number of K-Kits identified is now at 411

C-1: Added Type III

K-1: Added Type VIIIb

K-2a: Added Type Ia (Thanks Danny Almond)

K-5: Added Type II

K-6: Redesignation of Types. Added new Type III

K-8: Added new Type V designation

K-10: Redesignation of Types. Added new Type I

K-11: Added Type IIIa

K-14: Redesignation of Types. Added Type Ic and Type IIIa

K-18: Added Type II & Type IIa

K-26: Added Type IIc

K-28: Added Type I kit

K-33: New designation of Type II

K-41: Redesignation of Types, added Type Ia

K-44: Added new Type IIa thumb

K-46: Added Types IIa, Type IIb

K-47: Added Type IIa

K-50: Redesignation of Types. Added new Type I

K-58: Redesignation of Types. Added new Type I

 

October 4, 2014

Back with a much needed update. My schedule is beyond crazy. Hopefully as fall arrives I'll have more time to devote. I have a ton of promotional stuff to clean and post. Its finding the time . . .

In this update, I've added the October, 1957 Mechanix Illustrated article, "Shoot Your Own" to the G. Harry Stine designer page. This article appeared 57 years ago this month! Additional updates:

The total number of K-Kits identified is now at 397

K-2: Correction of body tube misspelling (Thanks Danny Almond)

K-6: Redesignation of Types. Type I face card and instruction sheet from 1962 added

K-6: Added to PM page

K-8: Added new Type IVa double oval red hang tag variety. (Thanks Danny Almond)

K-17: Added Type II kit

K-29: Corrected Type V light box info

K-35: Added Type Ia kit

K-40: Added new Type I facecard

K-42: Type Ia added

May 1, 2014

In this update, I've added the Estes Museum link to the front page. The Estes Museum will showcase very rare Estes items from the Golden Age. The first 12 items have been listed, with more to come as new discoveries are made. Other updates:

The total number of K-Kits identified is now at 392

K-20: Added new Type I designation (Thanks Sean Lannan)

K-24: Added new fact: Needle included in early kits (Thanks Joe Warner)

K-31: Added new Type I designation (Thanks Sean Lannan)

K-36: Re-designated Type I (Thanks Mark Loeffelholz)

K-36: Added Type Ia (Thanks, Earl Cagle)

K-42: Added Type I kit

 

February 18, 2014

In this update, I've added the the total number of varieties to each of the K-Kit pages. For example, if you look at the K-1 Astron Scout, there are 12 varieties that have been identified. Total number of kits that have been identified by this website is now at 387, and this number is displayed on the K-Kit Registry Index page. I'm also quietly celebrating the one year anniversary of this website going live. In one short year, this website has become the absolute authority on Estes K-Kit research. Much thanks to all of you for making it so with your continued visits and positive feedback. Other updates:

Estes Timeline: Additions and corrections

Promotional Page - Moved Gemini-Titan map from 1963 to 1968 (Thanks Joe Warner)

K-1 - Added new Type I designation, and added new Type Ia images

K-2 - Added Type IVa Facecard

K-7 - Re-designated Type I, Type II and IIb

K-8 - Added Type II Facecard

K-12X - Added Facecard to Type III kit

K-13 - Added Type I to pre-Damon variety, changed designer to Gene Street (Thanks, Bill Simon)

K-15 - Added Type Ic to pre-Damon variety.

K-17 - Added Type III to Countdown

K-16 - Added Bill Simon as designer. (Thanks, Bill Simon)

K-18 - Added Bill Simon as designer. (Thanks, Bill Simon)

K-21 - Added Gene Street as designer. (Thanks, Bill Simon)

K-22 - Added Type IIb Facecard, added Bill See as designer. (Thanks, Bill Simon)

K-29 - Changed intro date, added to Type I parachute page

K-31 - Changed Introduction date to 1966

K-35 -  Added Type II thumbnail and graphic

K-48 - Added Type Ia

 

December 8, 2013

My very demanding fall schedule has left me with limited time to update as much as I would like. I have some new information and kits to add in the coming weeks. Today I made the following changes and additions/corrections:

Designers - Updates and corrections

K-24 Astron Gyroc - First catalogue appearance corrected

C-1 CAMROC - Changed the designer to Vern Estes

Estes Timeline: Additions and corrections

K-8 Astron Skyhook - Added links to PM page

K-5 Apogee - Added PM links to page

Promotional - Adjusted dates for the Estes postcards

September 8, 2013

Back from an incredible summer! I traveled alot, met 3 friends with incredible collections, obtained some very rare items, and am now back and will resume regular updates to the site. It was very relaxing to take a break from this work, and now I am super-motivated to carry on. Today's update is a huge one - I hope you're enjoying what is presented here.

I removed the MRN section. After some careful thought, I decided not to include a Model Rocket News section in this website. However, MRN pages that featured new kits are available to be viewed on the corresponding kits page. Perhaps someone will develop a site that showcases the MRN. Any takers?

 

Added the Timeline link to the front page. This is currently under construction.

Moved the pamphlet "Model Rocketry The Scientific Space Age Hobby" on the Promotional page from 1968 to 1967.

Additions to the Parachutes section:

Added PM page

Modified Type I, Type II and Type III pages

Note: Kits issued with Type I, Type II and Type III parachutes on each panel is still under construction.

Changes to the Catalogues section:

All catalogues are now clickable showing the varieties. While doing this research, I discovered a new variation (Variety II) of the 1963 catalogue.

Removed the K-2 Astron Mark and K-3 Astron Space Plane from the 1961 Denver page.

Removed the K-1 Astron Scout from the 1961 Penrose page.

6 additions to the K-Kit Registry:

K-2 Added Type V kit

K-8 Added Type I kit

K-22 Added Type I kit

K-23 Added Type II and Type III kits

K-31 Added Type I kit

June 28, 2013

Updated the K-Kit registry. Added blue borders and text to the clickable pictures. Also added Type II to K-46 Astron Shrike.

June 8, 2013

6 additions to the Promotional Link. I added the 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970 Estes Catalogue Mailer pieces. Added New! 1967 Gyroc piece. Enjoy!

June 2, 2013

10 additions and several corrections to the K-Kit Registry. Getting ready to take a long break to travel and enjoy the warm summer weather. Will update as time permits.

K-5 Added Type Ia kit pic

K-15 Added Type II kit pic

K-23 Added Type II kit pic

K26 Added Type Ia kit pic

K-27 Added Type II kit pic

K-33 Added Type I kit pic

K-34 Added Type I kit pic

K-37 Added Type IIa kit pic

K-44 Added Type Ia kit pic

K-45 Added Type I kit pic

May 24, 2013

Added New! Astron Shrike promotional piece to the Promotional section.

May 23, 2013

One addition and 3 corrections to the K-Kit Registry:

K-23 Added Type I Facecard

K-41 Corrected misspelling on Type Ia

K-53 Corrected spelling error on Types I & Ia

May 22, 2013

Added Type I K-20 with Pre-Damon hang tag to the K-Kit registry.

May 11, 2013

Added the Provenance Link to the front page. Identification registry now set up.

Last 60 kits to be photographed over the next 8 weeks, then phase II will be well underway. Ready to enjoy my summer and friends! Thank you all for the mountains of positive feedback!

May 4-5, 2013

Made some cosmetic and functionality changes to the site. More specifically, you can now click the link on each kit page in the K-Kit Registry titled "Hang Tag Varieties" to see the known hang tag varieties of each kit. The known varieties are listed here, and the inspection tags are recorded. You may see multiple listings for each variety when duplicates are recorded in the registry. This will allow other collectors a chance to add their kits to the registry. I'll set up a submission page in the very new future and announce it here. In addition, the following changes were made:

Misspelling on the 1961 Denver Catalogue page (Thanks Joe Warner!)

Changed types on K-44 page

Fixed spelling error on K-2A page

April 22, 2013

Update to the Promotional page. Added five pamphlets: Scientific Advancement with Model Rocketry, Teaching for Tomorrow with Model Rocketry,
New Horizons I, New Horizons II
and Model Rocketry The Space Age Hobby.

April 14, 2013

Update to Vern's designer page. Added his patents for Toy Rocket Motor (1959) and Model Rocket (1960). Updated K-1 with this information as well. Also added three articles in .pdf form and one article to Bill Simon's designer page. Added the Designers and What's New links to the home page.

April 12-14, 2013

A very important day. Received a disk from Danny Almond with pictures of his collection to add to the K-Kit Registry. The pictures were taken in 2000, and some may not be of the highest quality (which is what I strive for), but are an important addition to this work. Pictures provided by Danny are labeled as being from the Almond Collection. Thanks Danny! Here are the additions:

K-7 Added Type Ib

K-10 Added Type IIa

K-20 Added Type IIc

K-21 Added Type II

K-22 Added Type IIIc

K-23 Added Type IIa

K-24 Added Type IIa

K-25 Added Type IIIa

K-26 Added Type Ia to pre-Damon Hang Tag

K-27 Added Type III

K-28 Added Type IIa

K-30 Added Type II

K-32 Added Type IIa

K-38 Added Type II, Red Hangtag

K41 Added Type I

K-44 Added Type I

K-46 Added Type I

K-48 Added Type I

K-51 Added Type Ia

K-52 Added Type II

C-1 Added Type II

 

April 10, 2013

Added Yesterday and Tomorrow promotional pieces to the Promotional link. More additions to the K-Kit Registry:

K-41 Added Yesterday and Tomorrow flyer

K-42 Added Yesterday and Tomorrow flyer

April 9, 2013

Added three promotional pieces to the Promotional link: 'D' Power II pamphlet, 36" Nylon Parachute Flyer and Construction & Flight flyer.

April 4, 2013

Added four promotional pieces to the Promotional link: 'D' Power pamphlet, Have Rocket will travel Christmas card (much thanks to Pat Fitzpatrick), set of 6 Estes postcards and Follow Apollo in '71 pamphlet. More additions to the K-Kit Registry:

K-2a Follow Apollo in '71 pamphlet added

K-48 Follow Apollo in '71 pamphlet added

K-57 Follow Apollo in '71 pamphlet added

K-58 Follow Apollo in '71 pamphlet added

March 30, 2013

More additions to the K-Kit Registry: Taking a well deserved break for the holiday. Happy Easter everyone! :)

K-1 Added Type VI Facecard

K-10 Added Type II Facecard

K12X Added Type IIIb Facecard

K-16 Added Type II Facecard

K-22 Added Type IIb thumbnail

C-1 Added Type Ib Facecard

March 29, 2013

Added Estes Promotional link to the index page. More additions to the K-Kit Registry:

K-45 Added New! Astron Beta promotional piece

C-1 Added CAMROC Christmas promotional piece

CM-8 Added The Incredible Cineroc promotional piece

March 23, 2013

Added three promotional pieces: 1968 Seasons Greetings pamphlet, 1968 So What's New pamphlet, and a 1969 Mars Lander Poster. Added Bill Simon as the designer to the K-30 Little Joe II kit. Added the K-5 Apogee II to Bill Simon's page. More changes to the K-Kit Registry:

K-30 Added Bill Simon, 1968 What's New pamphlet

K-32 1968 What's New pamphlet

K-34 1968 What's New pamphlet

K-37 1968 Season's Greetings pamphlet

K-38 1968 Seasons Greetings pamphlet

K-43 Mars Lander poster, 1969

March 9, 2013

A busy day. Made several changes to the K-Kit Registry:

K-1 additions: Type IV, Type VI thumbnails. Corrections to Types VII, VIII and VIIIa

K-2 added Type IVa thumb

K-8 added Type V thumb

K-10 added Type II thumb

K-11 added Type IIa thumb

K-12X added Type III thumb

K-13 added Type IIIa thumb

K-30 correction to price on Type II

K-33 expanded Type I

K-44 added Type Ia thumb

K-50 correction to price on Type Ia

K-52 added Type Ia

February 19, 2013

Added new kits to the K-Kit Registry:

K-21 Type II Gemini Titan

K-41 Type Ib Mercury Redstone

K-42 Type IIa Orbital Transport

February 15, 2013

Light housecleaning. Added low-res images to all pages. Small corrections here and there. Thank you all for the positive feedback! We have something very special here. If you collect, this is the place to come together. 

February 10, 2013

Site goes live! I am taking a break until March 1, 2013 and will resume work on phase II of this work. Please check back for updates to the site content.

February 4, 2013

More work on the Designers section, as well as more face card cleanup and kit photography. The site is near phase I completion, and will go live soon!

January 22, 2013

More face card clean up. Also going through the Launch Pad Newsletter (coming soon) looking for tidbits to add to the site. The  light at the end of the tunnel is now visible; I estimate less than 4 weeks until the site goes live.

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! I'll be taking a break and will resume this work January 21, 2013. Time to relax.

December 8, 2012

More face card cleanup, catalogue scans and kit photography. Very busy 8 hour day today devoted to the site.

November 20, 2012

An important day. Traveled to Syracuse, NY to meet Joe Warner (Mojo1986) to discuss the website and add some of his rare items to my collection. I picked up an absolute mint K-29 Uprated Saturn 1B as well as 95 vintage face card / instruction sheets. See the acknowledgements section to read of Joe's input into this site. We shared a 6-pack of Labatt Blue light, and talked on the good ole days of rocketry! I stayed at the historic Parkview Hotel in downtown Syracuse, NY and it was fantastic.

November 19, 2012

Flew an Omega today! Awesome!

November 3, 2012

Scanning, cleaning and adding the content in the Catalogues section. For the time being, this section will show a Kits first and last appearance in the Estes catalogue. Because several varieties of the early catalogues exist, this section will grow to be much more detailed in the future with detailed explanation of the different varieties.

October 19, 2012

More work on the Designers section. Still need pictures of Bill See and Ron McClaren. Also need several birthdays. More kit photography.

October 10, 2012

44 kits photographed and optimized for digital display.

September 27, 2012

Begin scanning the catalogues for the Vintage Catalogues section.

September 9, 2012

Added the Schwag link. This will grow to be really cool!  Astron and pre-Damon logo stuff like mugs, t-shirts, mouse pads, etc.

September 4, 2012

Started work on the K-Kit Identifier. It's designed to be a quick reference.

August 22, 2012

Added the Designers section, and added some content to the Parachutes section.

August 5, 2012

More work on photographing collection items, cleaning up instruction sheets and face cards, and cosmetic changes.

June 12, 2012

Slowed down the last 6 weeks to vacation and enjoy the summer. Ill be adding to this work as time permits.

May 28 - 31, 2012

Photographed over 65 kits and optimized them for web display.

May 14, 2012

Scanning, cleaning and digitizing hang tags for the Hang Tag Varieties. These will be posted soon.

April 7, 2012

Obtained a large lot of vintage face cards. I'll be cleaning these up in Photoshop and adding them to the digital archive. This is the most time consuming part of this work. Typically, it takes from 1 to 3 hours to clean and digitize each one.

March 30, 2012

Sites final layout complete. Expand areas of interest for 2012-2014 mapped out and under development.

March 15, 2012

Began coding the light box functions for my collection. You'll notice that I've documented each kit's ownership lineage if such information is available. Here's an example: K-33 Astron Trident

February 27, 2012

More face card clean up as well as inventorying new kits. Found a great source for Vintage K-Kits and have made some incredible discoveries.

February 19, 2012

More face card clean up as well as inventorying new kits. The number of cleaned-up facecard and instruction sheets is at 125.

January 30, 2012

More face card clean up and kit photography. Also spent considerable time on The Definitive Estes, a document detailing catalogue kit pricing from 1961-1974. This reference details the price of the K-Kits during their availability. By doing so, one can estimate with a fair degree of certainty the production timeline of these kits.

January 4, 2012

Today I'm celebrating the 1 year anniversary of this work, and after approximately 600 hours, I estimate that I have reached the halfway mark to completion. I try to spend about two - three hours per day, and in doing so I can make an assumption as to its completion. I'm shooting for late 2012 or very early 2013.

January 7 , 2011

Began research on this website.

 

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