Collection Item Summary:
This ladies handbag in the shape of Project Apollo Command and Service Modules (CSM) was designed by Henry Fenster of the Canadian company Mastercraft Leather Goods. Inspired at least in part by the mod clothing movement, this streamlined fashion accessory reproduced the CSM’s profile and color. The foot-long ladies handbag features gleaming silver handles and a silver clasp. The actual Apollo CSMs featured a thermal coating of silver Mylar that helped protect the astronauts from the extreme heat and cold of space.
Fenster, who signed his work as Mr. Henry, used silver-colored leather with a “Morocco” grain to evoke the real spacecraft’s appearance. A Holocaust survivor from Poland, he and wife emigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1952. With his brother, he cofounded Mastercraft Leather Goods. In December 1969, Fenster presented the purses to the wives of the Apollo 11 astronauts as special mementos.
Michael Collins donated the purse to the Museum's collection in 1972.