Astronaut Autographs

Apollo Astronauts, the 12 moon walkers and their Autographs

For many people, collecting autographs is a relaxing and absorbing pastime. For others, it's a full-time job. Since you are reading this article, you probably have somewhat of an interest in autograph collecting but you'd like more information on the subject. Let me tell you that autograph collecting is not easy. Additionally, depending on what names you're collecting, it can get pretty expensive if you don't know what to look for. In this hobby, it all comes down to patience, experience and a choosing narrow niche. What I mean by that is that while you may start out by collecting the signatures of any famous individuals, you will probably find greater enjoyment if you narrow your collection down to a specific area. Experience over the years has shown me time and again that this is true. By narrowing your collection to one area, you can specialize in it and therefore prevent a lot of forgeries from getting by.

For example, I personally started collecting just any old autographs when I was young, but over the years I found greater interest in the space program, NASA and specifically astronauts. Furthermore, I became enthralled by the Apollo moon landings and decided that I would specialize in collecting mainly "moonwalker autographs," since only 12 humans have ever walked on the moon. Since I already had some knowledge of the space program and the astronauts, I was able to avoid being fooled into buying a fake or forged signature more than a few times.

Once, I was at a trade show and a seller offered what he referred to as a "genuine one-of-a-kind Neil Armstrong signed photo" for a steal of a deal. Had I not known instantly that I was looking at a forgery, I would have wasted my hard earned cash. So, you may wonder how I was able to spot the fake right away. Well, having read a great deal of information about Neil Armstrong, (the first man on the moon), I knew that when signing a portrait of himself in his spacesuit, he never ever signed his name over the United States flag patch on his shoulder. Since the "autographed" photo I was looking at had a huge signature directly over the flag patch, I knew it couldn't be authentic.

The bottom line is that it pays to specialize in a field, no matter what it is. The world is just too big of a place for us to try to accomplish everything. Similarly, in the world of autograph collecting, having a specialty will make you stand out from so many other autograph hounds out there. Additionally, there is another benefit that I failed to mention. It is the simple truth that when it comes time to sell a collection, nine times out of ten, a collection consisting of related signatures from either the same group of people, same era, same project, etc, will fetch more money than a collection of autographs with nothing in common between them.

So, now it is up to you to decide if you'll take my advice or not. If you do choose to specialize in autographs of one area or another, it can be difficult to decide exactly what area that should be. Well, simply revert back to your own interests and try to begin with something you know about. For me, that was the space program and astronauts. For you, it may be 1930s movie stars, military heroes, 90s sitcom television stars or whatever peaks your interest. Wherever you end up, I wish you success and good fortune in all the days to come and I hope you enjoy one of the greatest hobbies on earth!

Written by Nicholas Scalice [MoonwalkerAutographs.com]

Are you interested in learning more about autograph collecting or are you in the market for quality astronaut autographs? Please visit my website at MoonwalkerAutographs.com for videos, photos, articles related to the subject and also for current auctions of astronaut autographs and signed NASA memorabilia. We specialize in the 12 astronauts who have walked on the moon.

MoonwalkerAutographs.com

What are the odds of an astronaut responding to fanmail such as an autographed photo? Thx.?

I have sent a letter to a particular astronaut to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

It really depends on where you sent it. I know the Public Affairs Office handles actually sending astronauts out to events, though I'm not sure if they would get a signed photo back or not.

If you just sent an envelope to JSC asking for a signed picture, your chances might not be too high.

It also depends on the astronaut whose signature you asked for. If it is someone who is either no longer in the Astronaut Corps or has retired, then probably not.

And if you do get your signed picture, there is a chance that the astronaut didn't actually sign it. If you look very closely on the lithograph (because that's what they would send), check to see if the signature has rough edges (the letters have a kind of starburst effect along the edges). They have a machine that will mass produce signed photos.




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