TAUB, WILLIAM PAUL. 1923-2010.
A large group of photographs and contact sheets of Mercury-era NASA astronauts, c.1961, comprising 5 contact sheets of 2¼ x 2¼-inch roll film negatives, 7 contact sheets of 2¼ x 3½-inch (57 x 94 mm) negatives, and 13 contact sheets of 35 mm negatives, all gelatin silver prints on 8 x 10-inch (200 x 250 mm) sheets, together with 19 enlargements of individual images, gelatin silver prints, mostly 8 x 10 inches (200 x 250 mm) or slightly smaller.
Provenance: William Paul Taub.
Bill Taub took nearly every official NASA picture of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts from 1958 to 1975. Alan Shepard remarked, "we were really pioneering in so many ways, even the training exercises, there was tensionand I think Bill captured that" (quoted in obituary, Washington Post, March 14, 2010). Taub was often one of the last people to see the astronauts before liftoff, earning the nickname "Two More Taub" for his insistence, always, on snapping just a couple more shots.
Images include: Gus Grissom and John Glenn inspecting the Mercury capsule; astronauts' dorm room; a smiley Alan Shepard; Mission Control including Gordon Cooper; trying out the space suit and couch; astronaut lunch time. With inevitable out-takes that were not publicly released by NASA, this group offers an unusual fly-on-the-wall insight.