• Tag Worn By U.S. Astrochimp Up for Auction Today’s guest blogger is Matthew Haley, Specialist in Fine Books and Manuscripts at the auction house Bonhams. Space collectors get particularly excited about “flown objects,” which are artifacts that were carried on board spacecraft. The most commonly flown objects are flags, patches, and medallions. There’s a hierarchy of flown items, too. Items carried into Earth orbit are less desira…
  • Apollo 11 Insurance Postal Covers An autograph of the first man who walked on the Moon is a must-have for space-history collectors. But an astronomical number of forgeries of Neil Armstrong's signature fly around in the market place, so buyers are understandably nervous. The so-called "insurance" postal covers from Apollo 11 are a safe way of acquiring the crew's autographs. As Buzz Aldrin has explained, "Since we were unable t…
  • Retrofuturism: The Year 2000 and Beyond! In honor of the new decade, our friends over at Brain Pickings have put together a delightful collection of vintage images and videos revealing hopes and dreams of what the next millennium would look like. After World War II, in particular, as toy robot collector Justin Pinchot told me, Americans were full of optimism for a bright future when robots would do all our chores for us. (After al…
  • War and Prosthetics: How Veterans Fought for the Perfect Artificial Limb There's something undeniably beautiful about prosthetic limbs, designed to echo the physical grace and mechanical engineering of the human body. For most people, these objects elicit some combination of squeamish discomfort and utmost respect. But far fewer of us connect those feelings to the untold generations of battle-scarred amputees whose sacrifices made prosthetics a public priority. "Pat…