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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 35, August 29, 2010, Article 22

BILL DANA AND THE MERCURY ASTRONAUT SHORT SNORTER

We've had a number of articles over the years about "short snorters" - dollar bills (or other banknotes) signed by a group of people as a souvenir of an event. Many of these were created in WWII as soldiers and sailor recorded their battles and friends. Here's a report about an interesting post-WWII short snorter coming up for sale. -Editor

One lot in Regency Superior's upcoming October space sale should appeal to space memorabilia collectors, autograph hunters... and perhaps even numismatists.

The item in question is a an original "Short Snorter" $1 bill signed by each of the original Mercury Astronauts: Alan Shepard (later a Moonwalker with Apollo 15), Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper and Deke Slayton.

Short Snorter Mercury Crew plus Bill Dana

And beside them is the autograph of Bill Dana - one of the best-loved funnymen in America and also the unofficial "8th Mercury astronaut".

Comedian Dana was best-known for his comic creation, the heavily-accented Mexican character named José Jiménez, back in the 1960s.

When America's Mercury Astronauts adopted "José the Astronaut" as their mascot, Dana was chosen to speak the first words ever broadcast to an American entering space.

"Okay José, you're on your way," were Dana's immortal words which cemented his place in space exploration history.

Bill Dana later went on to join the advisory board of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, and has been acknowledged by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

He was also inducted as the official Eighth Mercury Astronaut at the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame at Titusville, Florida.

Appearing in the auction with an estimate of $5,000-7,000 (bids open at $2,500) this is a rare chance for investors to acquire the signature of one of America's funniest men, alongside seven of its bravest and most intrepid.

To read the complete article, see: Banknote signed by comedian and 'Mercury astronaut' Bill Dana could bring $5,000 (www.paulfrasercollectibles.com/section.asp?catid=73&docid=4304)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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