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  The Jefferson-In-Space Museum ($2 bills) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   The Jefferson-In-Space Museum ($2 bills)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-27-2008 06:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Jefferson-In-Space Museum

Collector Rich Jurek's new website, The Jefferson-In-Space Museum showcases his collection of space-flown $2 bills. From his site:

On many historic flights into the great void of space, astronauts have sometimes carried $2 bills as mementos or good luck charms, and in so doing, have made Thomas Jefferson a sort of honorary accidental astronaut. This site catalogs my collection of "Jeffersons in Space," a specialty part of my overall space artifact collection.
The "museum" displays examples that span space history from Mercury through SpaceShipOne. What other missions, if any, has Jefferson taken the trip to space and back?

Rob Sumowski
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posted 01-27-2008 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Sumowski   Click Here to Email Rob Sumowski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Extremely cool site, Rich. I really admire your picking a niche and creating a one-of-a-kind sub-collection of your larger collection. It inspires me because nobody can have the best of every area of collecting, but with a lot of focus, hard work, and perseverance it's amazing how much one can actualize in a chosen specialty or area. Look at what Leslie Cantwell did with his signed large format collection so successfully exhibited at London's Proud Galleries last year. It's amazing. Great job, Rich.

Leon Ford
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posted 01-27-2008 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a neat idea!!! The site is great and very interesting. Thank you for putting it up for us.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-27-2008 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent blog. Nothing like money in space. But buy gold instead.

rjurek349
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posted 01-27-2008 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, guys! I appreciate it. It has been an absolute blast assembling the collection. After all -- no bucks, no Buck Rogers, right?

And it has also been fun, as Rob S. pointed out, taking a sub-genre of space collecting and trying to assemble the most complete set as possible -- combining my collecting passions for both space and currency. Whether you collect Robbins medallions, flags, betas, patches, autographs, etc., there is something to be said about finding a theme and trying to follow through on it.

Many thanks, too, to Robert P. for the kind words and links. I think the picture of Thomas Jefferson in the space suit is priceless -- an inspired idea. And a nice touch.

lm5eagle
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posted 01-28-2008 02:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lm5eagle   Click Here to Email lm5eagle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a great piece of specialist collecting. First class. Thank you for sharing this.

It does also beg a question:

If this is the quality of a part of your collection, what else do you have hidden away? Do you have a site displaying anything else you have collected over the years?

NAAmodel#240
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posted 01-28-2008 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NAAmodel#240   Click Here to Email NAAmodel#240     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A beautiful study. Thank you. I suspect there are numerous $2 bills flown on STS. Some time just needs to pass so that those involved can retire from NASA so as not to face sanctions for violating policy.

Gilbert
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posted 01-28-2008 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, your site is fantastic, wonderful, inspired, clever, unique, excellent, awesome, educational, exciting, artistic, perfect! I've run out of adjectives!

4allmankind
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posted 01-29-2008 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich that was a great read, thanks for sharing your new collection with us.

Gilbert
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posted 01-30-2008 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, I'd like to purchase a life-time pass to the Jefferson-in-Space Museum. Is that possible?

4allmankind
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posted 01-30-2008 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gil, Rich just sold me a lifetime pass for $2. Oddly enough, he requested the payment in 200 pennies rather than a $2 bill.

rjurek349
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posted 01-30-2008 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...if you don't have the pennies, I also will accept 40 Jefferson nickels!

rjurek349
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posted 02-17-2008 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been experimenting with adding video to the site. Check it out if you get a chance. I'm still trying to find the right video for GT3.

rjurek349
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posted 04-15-2008 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those interested, I've added three new flown $2 bills to the collection. Please do check it out and the video clips as well. I appreciate all the emails of encouragement on the collection. It was recently mentioned, and the website given, in The Numismatist, the American Numismatic Associations monthly publication.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-02-2008 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The current issue of Autograph Magazine includes a profile of Jefferson-In-Space Museum curator Richard Jurek's collection. Their website includes an abbreviated version of the article, titled Tokens of Historic Space Missions:
His focus on a narrow subject has gained Jurek a most unique and nearly complete collection: space-flown two dollar bills signed by the astronauts who carried them.

Jurek compares owning a space-flown artifact to owning the maps or relics that accompanied such historic explorers as Ferdinand Magellan, Christopher Columbus, David Livingstone and Lewis and Clark. "I have the highest regard for the men and women who have dedicated their lives to exploring the universe, often at great personal risk," he says. "Humanity's first step off of Earth, accomplished in the early days of the great space race, is arguably the single most significant and dramatic human accomplishment of the 20th century. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to own items that made that journey."

Congratulations Rich on the great coverage and for adding exposure to the hobby of space memorabilia collecting!

Larry McGlynn
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posted 08-02-2008 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, that is a very nice article. Great job and even greater collection.

Just remember in this new inflationary economy, the $2 dollar bill is the new $1 dollar.

4allmankind
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posted 08-02-2008 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, a great article and a fantastic collection.

mensax
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posted 08-02-2008 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a great article. Well written, and a fitting tribute to an incredible collection. Plus, it sets a fine example for how articles can showcase the possibilities that this hobby has to offer.

And, to top it all off, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Congratulations Rich! I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

rjurek349
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posted 10-17-2008 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought I would share with the group this picture which I received from Novaspace in the mail today, and which I posted to the Jefferson-in-Space museum today. It is an image of John Young holding the flown GT-3 bill, which his capsule mate Gus Grissom took along for the ride. It was nice to reunite the real astronaut with the accidental one. Thanks to Kim, Rob and the whole crew at Novaspace for making this reunion possible.

Spacepsycho
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posted 10-21-2008 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The current issue of Autograph Magazine includes a profile of Jefferson-In-Space Museum curator Richard Jurek's collection.
Congratulations Rich on the great coverage and for adding exposure to the hobby of space memorabilia collecting!

rjurek349
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posted 10-21-2008 08:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Ray. I appreciate it. I'm also pleased to report that it will also be the lead story in the November/December issue of the journal for the Society of Paper Money Collectors. They can be found at SPMC.org.

Also, one of the Federal Reserve's money museums is considering doing a short-term (one month) exhibit featuring the bills. If that gets finalized and comes to fruition, I'll let everyone know.

rjurek349
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posted 10-22-2009 11:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those interested, I am pleased to announce the latest acquisition by the Jefferson-in-Space Museum: a flown 1953 Series A $2 bill carried aboard with John Glenn on Friendship 7 in 1962. A great addition to the collection, and an exemplar that I have long sought. Many thanks to long time fellow cSer Art Siemientkowski. It is from Art's personal space collection that I have acquired the bill.

Since its launch, the Museum has had the pleasure of almost 12,000 visitors. And for those of you who subscribe to Coin World publications, the February 2010 issue of Paper Money Values (which will be on news stands in December), will feature the collection -- reaching a much wider audience than the SPMC Journal article last December.

Now, back on the hunt for the next mission with a Jefferson aboard...

mensax
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posted 10-23-2009 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All very impressive Rich, Congratulations!

Bob M
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posted 10-23-2009 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of these Glenn/MA-6 flown $2 bills was brought to PBS TV's "Antiques Roadshow" several years ago for appraisal and the Road Show appraiser gave it a value of only around $250, as I remember. And like Rich's, it also had the documenting certificate.

The "Road Show" has a very poor record in appraising space material and this was certainly no exception.

rjurek349
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posted 10-23-2009 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of things about the Glenn flown bills that might interest cSers.

I've been corresponding with the John Glenn Archives in Ohio. They have a memo, which they've sent me a copy of, that details about the bills. It is a memo dated March 9th, 1962, written by Charles L. Buckley, Jr., of the NASA Security Office.

According to Mr. Buckley's memo, "approximately $52 to $56 or a total of 32 bills of one and two dollar denominations were place aboard the capsule by a McDonnell Aircraft employee..."

That employee was Joe Trammel, who also has signed the flown bill. (He inscribed it with "Good luck John", so my assumption is that Joe's signature was placed on the bill prior to flight, and Glenn and Carpenter's post flight.) Joe is the source for the recorded serial numbers of bills for that flight, too it seems from the video.

After Googling about Joe, I came across a You Tube video from St. Louis television that records a wonderfully moving tribute to Joe and his fellow McDonnel Aircraft crew mates who worked on the Mercury capsules. It is a six minute video that tells the story of their role in building the craft, and, yes, sneaking currency aboard. The video is very well done and shows some great vintage footage of Mercury capsules being constructed... and it is extremely moving, given that the reunion is being held by Joe's wife because Joe was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and it was a way for the crew mates to get together while they still could.

Tough to keep a dry eye watching it, and even more jaw dropping for me as they discuss the flown bills in the middle of the video. I've never seen this clip before, but have posted it to the blog. Do check it out if you get a chance.

freshspot
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posted 10-24-2009 06:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, You have an amazing one-of-a-kind collection here. It is really fun to see what you have amassed. Sometimes I think it is the slightly offbeat collections that are the most interesting. And your collection transcends space into other areas of collecting too. Congratulations.

Dave Scott (not the astronaut)
www.apolloartifacts.com

Joel Katzowitz
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posted 10-24-2009 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't visited the "Museum" in a while, so I just took another spin through it to see the new arrival. Stunning imagery and content, and you can't beat the free parking.

I am proud to have a one dollar Silver Certificate flown on Wally Schirra's MA-8 mission. Rich was very kind to share some of his insight into flown currency with me. A class act all the way.

rjurek349
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posted 10-31-2009 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Posted a new item under the Glenn bill today -- text of a memo sent to me by the archivist at the Glenn Archives. The memo contents detail the story of these flown bills, their traditional ties to "short snorters", and the exact chain of custody of them, from the specific time they were loaded on the capsule, where they were located, exactly what time they were removed, and where they were stored until Glenn signed them and notarized them on the certificates. A great memo for those interested in the subject matter of space flown currency.

Lou Chinal
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posted 11-01-2009 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neat Mercury video!

Do you know if anything was recovered from MR-4, Grissom's flight?

rjurek349
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posted 11-01-2009 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great question, Lou!

Yes, a couple of the $1 bills did, indeed, survive all those years underwater in Liberty Bell 7. Most likely they survived because of being heat sealed within the tubing, as described in the NASA investigation memo I posted to the Museum site. I was privileged to see two of the recovered bills at the Cosmosphere this summer on a visit. One is heavily damaged from exposure to the ocean...and another is almost perfectly in-tact, with full signatures of the launch crew folks who placed it on the craft...including Col. C. Powers, who is cc'ed on the NASA memo on the Glenn bill investigations.

As far as I know, there were no $2 bills recovered from this flight, and as you can see here, only a couple of the dollar bills flown survived all those years at the bottom of the Ocean.

rjurek349
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posted 11-11-2009 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Coin World publications have put up an advertising blurb for their February 2010 issue cover article on the Jefferson-in-Space collection. I am very pleased to see that it has made it to the cover story, and I love the illustration they have used. As I understand it, the magazine will be available online and in stores in late December/early January.

Gilbert
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posted 11-11-2009 08:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, I just toured your JIS Museum again. I must say you have one of the most unique and interesting collections... ever. Fantastic!

rjurek349
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posted 11-12-2009 07:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gil - thanks for the kind words! Glad you enjoy it. It is a lot of fun putting together, and has become the hands-down favorite part of my collection. Rich

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-12-2009 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, we've seen the virtual museum, but what does the real JIS museum look like?

In other words, how are you displaying, if at all, these treasures at your home? Are they stored in a bill album (if there such a thing) or framed, or how?

capoetc
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posted 11-12-2009 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...what does the real JIS museum look like?
I heard that he keeps them all in his wallet.

rjurek349
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posted 11-12-2009 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good question, Robert. I sought the advice of an archivist at the American Numismatic Association's money museum. He recommended specific mylar, archival currency holders (which you can see the Apollo 15 bill in with the photos with Worden and Scott holding the bill), along with humidity and light recommendations.

For the most part, I keep them in a safety deposit box out of the house, and out of the light,and in a temperature controlled environment... and I use the scans (and the virtual museum) to enjoy them on a regular basis and to avoid over handling. It's safer that way -- on many levels.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 11-13-2009 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
I heard that he keeps them all in his wallet.
Just as long as he doesn't have a family member buy ice cream with it (that's a reference to what supposedly happened to one of the 1894-S dimes, of which only 24 were struck for circulation.)

rjurek349
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posted 08-05-2010 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am pleased to announced that the known flown $2 bill universe has expanded by one, and what a special one it is.

The Jefferson-in-Space Museum is proud to announce the addition of a $2 bill from Gene Cernan which flew on ALL THREE of his historic missions, including landing with him on the moon during Apollo 17.

Back in 2008, in the article that appeared in Autograph Magazine about the collection, I alluded to having discovered the existence of a previously unknown (at least to me) $2 bill that flew on all of an astronaut's space missions. Well, this week, the bill officially touched-down at the Jefferson-in-Space Museum.

For those who follow this collection and love space flown currency like I do, I thought I would post this happy news to the collectSPACE community. Enjoy!

MrSpace86
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posted 08-05-2010 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is really awesome!! Congrats!! I love the website; really neat and unique collection.

4allmankind
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posted 08-06-2010 07:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, that is a fantastic piece! One of the truly elite flown Cernan items in our hobby. Thanks for sharing with us!


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