Neil Armstrong auction brings in $5.2 million
Wright brothers items belonging to first man on moon among sales.
The first of three sales saw the highest price go for the ID plate of the Apollo 11 module from which he emerged to walk on the moon.
The first auction of former Lebanon-area resident Neil Armstrong’s personal memorabilia and artifacts — including fragments of the Wright brothers’ 1903 flyer the famous astronaut took to the moon and back — brought in more than $5.2 million.
Fetching the highest price — $468,500 — was an identification plate from the Apollo 11 lunar module Eagle from which Armstrong emerged in July 1969 to become the first man to set foot on the moon.
The thousands of artifacts chronicled the life and career of Armstrong, who was raised in Wapakoneta and lived quietly outside Lebanon after becoming a national hero commanding the mission.
A childhood letter Armstrong wrote to the Easter bunny sold for $4,000; his Boy Scouts field cap went for $12,000; a gold pin of his wife’s carried into space brought $17,500; and one of his Gemini flight suits was bought for $109,375.
Approximately 3,000 lots — some consisting of more than one item — are being auctioned in three parts. Before the first threeday sale began Nov. 1, Mark Armstrong said his father’s mementos included ones “that make you think, items that make you laugh and items that make you scratch your head.”
The famous astronaut died in 2012 at age 82.
Longtime Lebanon-area resident Neil Armstrong died in 2012 at age 82.