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  Estate sale: McDonell's and NASA's John Yardley

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Author Topic:   Estate sale: McDonell's and NASA's John Yardley
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 33337
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2013 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For any readers in Missouri or the surrounding areas, on Friday and Saturday (July 26-27), the estate of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Yardley will be sold at their Chesterfield home.

According to this listing, the estate includes space memorabilia from Yardley's career with McDonnell Aircraft Corp. and NASA. He died in 2001.

After three years in the Navy during World War II, Yardley began his aerospace career at McDonnell Douglas in 1946. While at McDonnell Douglas, he worked on cutting-edge human space flight projects, leading the design team for the Mercury spacecraft, and serving as Launch Operations Manager for the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft and later as the technical director for the Gemini Program.

At NASA, Yardley served as Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight (later renamed Space Transportation Systems) where he led the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and Spacelab, and was responsible for development and acquisition of the Space Shuttle, launching a new era in human space flight.

The estate sale includes several contractor models, autographed prints, a replica of the Pioneer plaque and a McDonnell Mercury hard hat.

Jerry Brouillette

Posts: 135
From: Louviers, CO
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 07-26-2013 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Brouillette   Click Here to Email Jerry Brouillette     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where's the teleporter when you need it!

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 33337
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-27-2013 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A friend (thanks Michael!) shared this report after talking with the estate's salesman:
I called the guy running the sale today (the second date of the estate sale), to see if there was anything left of his NASA stuff (I have a friend who lives just a few miles away and was willing to pick up and ship anything to me). He said that it pretty much all sold right away on Friday morning.

There was a crowd of 30-40 people waiting for an hour or more before the house opened, a long enough line that they gave out numbered places in line to keep people from stampeding. The NASA stuff went immediately, with some things going in lots (like the contractor models) and others going separately (like the autographed pictures).

Apparently the heirs kept a few items, not many, and what they didn't want, got sold at the estate sale. I didn't ask about prices, but from what I was told it sounded like collectors bought the items rather than people who bought for resale (if that were the case, I would have expected fewer people purchasing more items).


Posts: 216
From: Belleville, IL
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 07-28-2013 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I appreciate the update to this estate sale. I live about an hour away from Chesterfield and was in turmoil Thursday night (the night before the auction) as to whether or not I should try and go Friday morning. I had two ( huge) closings that morning and just couldn't make it. Hopefully, those contractor models went to good homes.


Posts: 1292
From: Birmingham AL
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 07-29-2013 01:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Starting to see the first of the John Yardley collection on eBay 121150815322. Same seller has 4 or 5 items from the yard sale. Notice he is from Missouri.


Posts: 1669
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 10-21-2015 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought Yardley's collection of contractor models from his estate. I'm keeping several, but I decided to consign two of them to RR's space auction ending tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 22).

Here are two vintage models of the Mercury spacecraft, owned by the man who oversaw their development and construction at McDonnell.

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