This week’s featured moon landing object is a souvenir created in the success of the landing of the Apollo 11 mission (catalog number H 72774.002). This “moon money” was “legal tender on the moon” until January 1975. Worth 25 cents on the moon, the front of the moon money depicts the three Apollo 11 astronauts as well as the Apollo 11 patch designed by one of the crew members, Michael Collins. The back of the moon money commemorates the “First Man on the Moon – July 20, 1969” and identifies the distributor of this commemorative currency as Tom Ringler Enterprises of Columbus, OH.
“Moon money” is one of the many types of commemorative currency produced in the United States following the first successful moon landing in 1969. Currency ranges from paper or wooden money to legal U.S. tender in the form of coins. One of the most common examples of currency related to the landing is a 1969 U.S. penny, counter stamped with an image of the moon landing next to Abraham Lincoln’s head. Coins like these provide insight into the importance of the 1969 moon landing to the American people and the commercialization of this event.
Check back next Tuesday for the fourth artifact in our Countdown to the Moon Landing!
Caitlin Smith, History Collections Intern