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  Value of Crew Signed Apollo 1 CM Checklist

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Author Topic:   Value of Crew Signed Apollo 1 CM Checklist
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posted 07-09-2013 06:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Hunter   Click Here to Email X-Hunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I need your collective wisdom to help me value a very cherished autographed item that I just acquired. I don't normally collect autographs, so I'm not sure this might be valued on the current market. Please note, however, that it is NOT for sale. I'm just trying to assess its potential worth if I ever decide to loan it to a museum for display. (If they ever want to display it, they are going to have to insure it)

I was just given an amazing gift by the widow of a former North American Aviation (NAA) employee. It's an actual Apollo 1 Command Module Checklist that is signed by Grissom, White and Chaffee. The original checklist owner worked for NAA in their Publications Department, and was intimately involved with the Apollo 1 crew in developing the checklist procedures. He had them sign his personal copy sometime between 22 AUG 66 and 27 JAN 67. In 1967, the employee was even in a picture featured in Life magazine, looking into the burned Apollo 1 capsule. Visible inside the CM is a charred checklist. This is not that burned checklist, but he created it, as he did the signed one. He died last December and his widow generously gave it to me upon hearing how much Apollo inspired my career.

Below are some picture links. The checklist is yellowed with age (semi-exaggerated in the photos)and an old spill has lightly smeared White and Chaffee's signatures. The cover prominently lists the proper NASA vehicle codes for the Apollo 1 Command Module (SC-012), Service Module (SM2A-03) and Apollo-Saturn launch vehicle (AS-204). I believe AS-204 was also the mission designation.

The last page has some brief emergency procedures, including what to do in case of a cockpit fire.

What do you think its potential value is? I think the following factors affect it:


  1. 2 signatures slightly blurred

  2. Yellowed from age with some wrinkling (looks used, but probably from the training program)

  3. Modest water damage to cover and some pages
  1. All 3 astronauts signed it. Items with all 3 signatures are much rarer than single autographed items.

  2. It's an original NASA/NAA Apollo 1 capsule checklist (not a photocopy)

  3. It's possibly one-of-a-kind. How likely is it that multiple copies like this are/were out there?

  4. The owner actually worked with the astronauts to develop the checklist.

  5. It was actually used during the training build-up to the Apollo 1 fire.

  6. It has cockpit fire emergency procedures. A tragic but historic connection to the death of the crew.

  7. (This is minor but noteworthy as potential secondary provenance) The owner is seen in Life magazine, looking at the capsule and one of his charred checklists. Life was the best known chronicler of the early space program and his photo in such popular media adds to the interest level of the item.
I'm interested in your thoughts and opinions. Thanks ahead of time to everybody who helps.


Posts: 276
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 07-09-2013 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kosmo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually all three signatures are affected by the spill.


Posts: 1430
From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
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posted 07-09-2013 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the right venue I'd think this would fetch five figures.


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From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 07-09-2013 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is too bad about the spill affecting the signatures (wiping out the middle of Roger B. Chaffee's name, for example). But what an incredible item for them to have signed. Because of the damage it might sell for a little less than a good photo signed by all three, but those have sold for $11,000 - $21,000 lately.

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posted 07-10-2013 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Hunter   Click Here to Email X-Hunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for sharing those current prices. I don't follow autographs closely so that was a revelation.

But yes, I'm hoping that the unique nature of the checklist itself will make up for deficiencies in the signatures. Of course, any sale is well into the future. I'm going to enjoy it for a while.

All times are CT (US)

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