While processing a National Air and Space Museum Archives photo collection, I came across this image—two men holding the wax head of astronaut Alan Shepard!
Although wax replicas are often used for creepy Halloween special effects, this wax model of Shepard’s head was made by the National Historical Wax Museum for realistic display purposes. For years, the head and a reproduction pressure suit were on display inside the “Freedom 7” capsule. The Museum has since deaccessioned the head and the Freedom 7 capsule is currently on loan to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library.
Have a happy and safe Halloween!!
Elizabeth C. Borja is an archivist in the Archives Department of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.