Monday, July 21, 2008

Vintage Resin with Gemini 4 & 7, Apollo 7, 11, 12 & 15 Flown Artifacts

This is a very rare vintage resin presentation that was made by Dr. Robert Jones, who was the co-inventor and co-patent holder for the Apollo A7LB space suit bubble helmet. Dr. Jones worked with NASA for many years before opening his own business in Texas named Bright Jones International and he passed away in the 1990's. I bought this from an Ebay auction, after Mr. Bearden contacted me, a few hours before the auction closed.

Dr. Jones was hired by Mr. C. Ray Bearden, who was the VP of Chiles Offshore Drilling Inc, to train offshore oil platform workers. Dr. Jones made up 2 resin displays for Mr. Bearden in the early 1980's, with space flown artifacts from his collection, of the Gemini 4 & 7, Apollo 7, 11, 12 & 15 missions. There is a chart on the back that shows what piece was flown on each mission, with the 2 bolts being flown on Gemini 4 & 7.
Mr. Bearden's wife gave these 2 resin displays away to Goodwill in 1996, when they moved from Houston to Austin, after Mr. Bearden retired. I was able to track down Mr. Bearden through his old oil company connections. After talking with Mr. Bearden, he confirmed that these were authentic pieces from Dr. Jones, but he thought they were still in storage. After talking to his wife, she told him that she gave them away when they moved.
Mr. Bearden had the utmost admiration and respect for Dr. Jones, he cherished the 2 resin pieces that Dr. Jones made for him, but was happy that it was in a collection where it would be shared at presentations for school kids. Mr. Bearden wrote me a very nice letter stating the history of this piece.

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