Pencil, Veterans of Foreign Wars, R.K. Gilbert

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This mechanical pencil from the Veterans of Foriegn Wars of the US was owned and used by Robert Gilbert, an aerospace engineer who began his career supporting launches at White Sands, New Mexico, and moved to Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1958. Gilbert served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from July 1944 to August 1946, before being honorably discharged. He carried the pencil in his pocket, inside a pocket protector, as one of the everyday workplace tools of an engineer. In his career, he worked on a series of missile and other spaceflight projects until his retirement.

Gilbert's pocket protector and its contents were collected by Gilbert's daughter-in-law, Nancy Yasecko, a filmmaker who grew up in Florida near Cape Canaveral, and whose film "Growing Up with Rockets," released in 1985, is a personal memoir of growing up in the shadow of the United States' civil human spaceflight program. The pencil and pocket protecor set is part of a collection of artifacts that Yasecko donated to the Museum in 2012 along with a copy of the film, which is held by the Museum's film archives.