Debbie Wreyford & Ken Winans holding their spacesuit in the “Moon Room” 2004© Novato Advance
Some of the Winans Financial Collection currently on display at the Museum of American Finance in New York.
The Winans Collection’s 1830 Foreign Currency Table currently on display at the San Francisco Business Exhibit in the CFA Society office in San Francisco.
The Winans Collection’s Edison Tickertape Machine (circa 1920).
This 2006 exhibit at Chabot Space & Science Center was funded by The W Foundation. The Lunar Module Engine Bell in the picture is one of many artifacts that The W Foundation lends to other organizations.
Space Capsule: This Gemini Capsule Boilerplate was used for parachute tests in 1963. It sat on a public playground in Auburn, CA until The W Foundation purchased it and repainted it. It is currently on display at the USS Hornet Museum.
The W Foundation (TWF) was founded in December, 2002 by Ken Winans and his wife Debbie Wreyford as a volunteer staffed & privately funded California non-profit corporation for space education (The “W” is for Winans and Wreyford.).
Two things sparked the “launch” of TWF:
- As space enthusiasts and collectors, the Winans have been able to amass one of the largest private collections of U.S., Russian and Soviet space exploration artifacts in existence. As their “moon room” became an increasingly popular attraction for friends and family visiting their home, Ken and Debbie were asked to make presentations to local schools.
- In 1999, the Winans led the effort to give a long overdue local honor to San Francisco born Apollo Astronaut John Young. After a one-year campaign, a plaque was placed in the California Academy of Sciences near a moon rock that Capt. Young brought back from the moon.
They realized that there is a real need to help Bay Area museums & science centers develop space exploration exhibits to educate children about the exciting history of space exploration, and to increase the public’s understanding that a strong global commitment toward future manned space expeditions is an important key to accelerating our civilization’s development. This is especially important when you realize that California was the birthplace of the X-Planes, the Apollo Command Module, the Space Shuttle and the robotic rovers that are currently roaming Mars; and that over 200,000 Californians contributed to our nation’s endeavors in space exploration.
TWF currently supports the USS Hornet Museum and Chabot Space & Science Center by providing artifacts from its collection (that are otherwise not available to these institutions) to improve and expand their exhibits. In addition, TWF has operated The Space Station Museum in Novato, CA since 2011.
In 2015, the Winans donated to TWF an extensive collection of financial artifacts and books which includes an Edison ticker tape, stock certificates signed by John Rockefeller, Colonial real estate deeds, and bond indentures that were obtained by Andrew Carnegie throughout his career. As a result, TWF has expanded its educational mission to include economics with an emphasis on financial literacy.
Many of these items are on permanent display at The Museum of American Finance in New York and at the San Francisco Business Exhibit in the CFA Society office in San Francisco.