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    The headset that helped launch America into Space

    Chris Kraft's Personal Western Electric "Bell System 52" Headset as Used on the First Manned Mercury Missions, Directly from His Estate, with Extensive Photographic Provenance and Certificate of Authenticity. A 1950s vintage telephone operator's headset, fully adjustable with one earpiece (bearing Dymo label "C.C. KRAFT") and attached microphone; the headband is black stitched cloth over a steel spring; a long, partially coiled brown cord with a separate belt-clipped push-to-talk switch terminates in double two-conductor male phone plugs with tape around, again bearing his name. It was not until Wally Schirra's SIGMA (Σ) 7 flight in October 1962 before the astronauts started using a newer lightweight Plantronics headset. This headset was a souvenir he wanted to keep as a reminder of those early years creating and manning Mission Control. Honest wear, not tested, very good.

    Included with the lot are fifty-three 8" x 10" original glossy B&W photos of Kraft wearing this particular headset. They are all from his personal archives and most were taken at Mercury Control Center during Gus Grissom's MR-4 flight. One has his handwritten caption attached. Several others have his personal address label on the front. We suspect that very few of these have ever been seen by the public. Incredible provenance to an historic Space relic.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    21st-22nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,647

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