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I'm looking at a photograph of a meeting of the Special Committee on Space Technology of the NACA (the precursor to NASA) from 1958, and there are some devices on the table that I can't figure out. Considering the people present, and the year, I wouldn't be surprised if they're models or samples of something related to the early years of the Space Race, but I just can't figure out what they are.

photograph of meeting

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    $\begingroup$ Given their number, size and spacing, the pencils aligned next to them, and the date the picture was taken, I'd say they are ashtrays. The wires look like they may be cigar holders of some type. $\endgroup$ – ForgeMonkey May 5 '15 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ Another question could be, what are those two buttons on the table frame facing Wernher von Braun? One to call miss Moneypenny and another to activate ejection seats? :D $\endgroup$ – TildalWave May 5 '15 at 20:36
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about trivia and has nothing to do with space exploration $\endgroup$ – user8406 May 5 '15 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Joe If you agree that it's off topic then you can vote to close. Or just wait to see what happens. Just because some guy (me) and a couple of others think it's OT doesn't make it so. It takes 5 votes :-) $\endgroup$ – user8406 May 6 '15 at 5:53
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    $\begingroup$ They are obviously WiFi access points. $\endgroup$ – mins May 6 '15 at 7:01
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Hahaha! They are ashtrays!

The metal 'hoop' that comes up has indents to place a cigar or cigarette in, if you need to put it down.

The good old days, when Steely Eyed Missile Men ran NASA/NACA.

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    $\begingroup$ The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. $\endgroup$ – Joe May 5 '15 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ The ashtrays? na na na... the ashtrays are hanging from the ceiling! Look they inverted the ashtrays and the wifi points. I'm not surprised they needed to call Kubrick and fake Apollo 11, 11 years later. $\endgroup$ – mins May 17 '15 at 17:01

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