First Penguin edition, 1958.
This is another bit of unfinished business: some time back I posted Joe McLaren's cover for a collection of essays by John Berger, published as part of the Penguin Great Ideas series. I mentioned at the time that I thought it was based on Fifties Pelicans; on his flickr stream David Pearson - in overall charge of the Great Ideas covers - confirmed that McLaren was paying tribute to Victor Reinganum.
Reinganum didn't do a vast number of book jackets, though they did include the first editions of Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Ballad of Peckham Rye. For Penguin he did Spark's Memento Mori and this book, a drily readable guide to basic geology and palaeontology.
The cover is beautiful, I think; but oh, how quickly science-writing ages: only a brief, non-committal reference to the plausibility of Continental drift; mention of Fred Hoyle, but not the Big Bang - you don't need carbon-dating to place this in the Fifties, which is just as well since carbon dating wasn't available yet. H. H. Swinnerton was a Victorian (born 1875, so 80 when this was first published in 1955), and it shows. His chapter on volcanoes is entitled "Pluto's Portals"; and he ends the book by posing the question "Whither is all this tending?" - "all this" being, broadly, science and technology - and coming up with the answer: "The end cannot be imagined, but so long as Nature continues to hold her child upon her knee he may go forward with hope and confidence." The modern reader may wonder whether Nature has despaired of her child's behaviour and is now trying to slap some manners into him.
This edition crops up pretty often, and you should be able to find a decent example for less than £3: I paid slightly over the odds (£3.70 incl. p&p) on eBay.