DescriptionMercury Seven Astronauts: Photo Signed by All. An 8.5" x 11.75" B&W photo of the original group of astronauts casually gathered around an early Mercury boilerplate capsule. Each astronaut has signed near his image, all with early forms of their signatures: "Walter M Schirra Jr", "John H. Glenn Jr", "Donald K. Slayton", "Virgil I Grissom", "Alan B Shepard Jr", "M Scott Carpenter", and "Leroy G Cooper Jr". This was given to NBC news correspondent Jay Barbree by early NASA engineer Sam Beddingfield, one of two he had signed by the astronauts. Framed to an overall 14" x 17". Some soiling, emulsion cracking, and minor silvering; the signatures are lightly faded but quite visible. Very good condition.
Included with this lot is a 1996-dated, signed and notarized Letter of Authenticity from Howard S. Benedict as Executive Director of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation reading, in full: "As The Associated Press' aerospace writer and editor during Projects Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and the Space Shuttle flights through 1990, and as Executive Director of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (formerly the Mercury Seven Foundation) since then, I can state with expert knowledge the signatures appearing on the 1959 black & white photograph of the Mercury astronauts sitting and leaning on an early Mercury boiler plate spacecraft are genuine. As a personal friend and colleague of the Mercury Seven for 37 years, I am most qualified to authenticate each of their autographs. I was present when Mercury engineer Sam Beddingfield (see attached letter from Mr. Beddingfield) [not present] gave this picture to Jay Barbree. Mr. Beddingfield said it was one of two such photographs signed for him by the Mercury Seven."
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