I love these old children's books from the 50's. You'd be surprised at the information they contain. Among other things, I learned that to build a battleship in those days required 30 tons of blueprints!
The illustrator, Manning de Villeneuve Lee, was born in 1894 in Summerville, South Carolina and trained at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. He became a professional artist whose artwork can be found in many private and public collections. Over the course of his long career illustrated more than 200 books, with an emphasis on historical subjects and books for young people. He died in 1980.