Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Apollo 17 Flown Cereal Cube

I bought this from a guy on Ebay, who purchased the estate of a woman, that went into an assisted living home. The seller knew nothing about it, other than what was on the tag, which meant there was no historical provenance that it flew in space, let alone around the moon. When I contacted the seller about the history of this resin, he told me how to contact her family. They gave me this woman's number in the home and after calling a few times, I was able to talk with her.

When I spoke to this woman about the cereal cube, she told me the history about it and she was a sweetheart to talk to. We chatted for almost an hour, she was disappointed that her family sold it, considering how important it was to their father.
It turns out that her husband was an RCA engineer that helped teach the astronauts how to operate the electronics on the Apollo spacecraft. She told me stories about having many of the astronauts over for dinner when they were in town and how happy they were to have a home cooked meal. This delightful woman wrote me the nicest letter describing the provenance to this piece.
She told me that this cereal cube was her husbands pride & joy and that he had it displayed on his desk since receiving it in the 70's. This cereal cube was given to her husband by Ron Evans after the Apollo 17 mission and this RCA engineer created this resin display. The greatest aspect about this piece, besides being flown on Apollo 17, is that there are 6 layers of resin, which is a strong telltale sign that it's a vintage piece. Modern lucite and resin displays don't have visible layers in the piece, whereas the older resin pieces needed to dry, before adding another layer when embeding an item.
Another fun aspect about this piece is the mold that was used. The shape shows the gentleman used a Gerber baby food jar as a mold and it must have taken him 4-6 days to make this one piece. If you look carefully, you can see the seams on the sides of the resin from the Gerber glass jar.
I love home made resin pieces, because they show how the smallest artifact was held in such high esteem by the people who worked so hard to make the space program a success. I assume that this cereal cube only flew in lunar orbit with Ron Evans and that it didn't make it to the lunar surface.

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