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Don Sahlin – Muppet Designer and Rocketry Hobbyist

After briefly working as a puppeteer and builder for The Howdy Doody Show then working on stop-motion films (including projects with George Pal), Don Sahlin began working with Jim Henson in 1962. Henson hired Sahlin to create a Muppet of a dog character, Rowlf, for Purina Dog Chow commercials. Rowlf when onto become the singer’s side-kick during the four-year run of The Jimmy Dean TV show. Sahlin became Jim Henson’s primary designer and builder. Henson credited Sahlin with creating the distinctive Muppet “look.”

In addition to working on the Muppets, Sahlin provided special and visual effects for Henson’s Oscar-nominated short film from 1965, “Time Piece.”

At about seven minutes and 30 seconds into “Time Piece” (about one minute and ten seconds into the above clip from the film), you see a small rocket launched.

The rocket and its launch pad may have looked familiar to readers of Estes’s Model Rocket News.

In the

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