Artifacts from the Archives

 Every time the Archive staff opens a new collection, it is a new adventure.

We never know what treasures we are going to find.

Zenith vacuum radio

In 1942, the Zenith Vacuum radio, celebrated for its sleek and sophisticated design, became commercially available for $125, an amount that would be equivalent to $2,788 in today’s currency. This particular radio was procured from Mr. Alan Griffen of Boys Ranch, a cherished piece with a rich history. Sadly, it fell victim to the ravages of a tornado, enduring damage from strong winds and water. Despite this adversity, Mr. E.A. Heras undertook the remarkable task of meticulously restoring the radio to its former glory. Notably, he skillfully integrated modern features such as an Aux input, USB, and Bluetooth capabilities, seamlessly blending the vintage appeal with contemporary functionality. It’s fascinating to imagine that a radio akin to this could have been used by the WASP to tune in to the iconic fireside chats with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, adding another layer of historical significance to this remarkable artifact.

The Zenith Vacuum Radio is now displayed in the National WASP WWII Museum's gift shop.

Photos: WASP Museum

Jacqueline Cochran's WASP Doll

The museum archives has recently been enriched with items from Jacqueline Cochran’s collection, courtesy of a donation by Wings Across America. This collection includes a one-of-a-kind WASP doll, crafted specifically for Jacqueline Cochran.  This doll belonged to Jackie who left it to her friend, and co-executor, Yvonne Smith.  Upon Yvonne’s passing, she donated the doll to Wings Across America and Nancy Parrish. 

Despite its age-related fragility and cracks, the doll still dons the WASP Santiago Blue dress uniform, complete with WASP wings and insignias. This unique doll has traveled across the states.  Its journey has taken it to the Women’s Memorial at Arlington, the Bullock Museum in Austin, Wings Over the Rockies in Denver, the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, and the 1940s Air Terminal Museum in Houston. The Official National WASP WWII Museum is thrilled to finally welcome it back to Avenger Field, home of the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Wings Across America for their donations of unique WASP artifacts that will help us continue to tell the story of these courageous women.

Marylyn Myers' $1 short snorter

$1 Short Snorter belonging to Marylyn Myers 44-W-5 See Marylyn’s name is written along the long side.

During WWII a short snorter was a little less than a full drink at a bar.

Soldiers would have currency signed by comrades, much like an autograph book.

As one note was filled, another would be connected to the first (usually by tape), with more added as needed. Long ‘short snorters’ also meant free drinks at the bar since the person with the shortest one had to buy the round. This tradition began during WWI and heightened during WWII.

The Short Snorter is displayed in Marylyn Myers’ WASP in the Spotlight exhibit from April 2024 until April 2025.

Photos: Marylyn Myers