A collection of 21 photographs of Elon Musk taken in the mid-1990s during his relationship with college girlfriend Jennifer Gwynne is currently up for auction. Through RR Auction, Gwynne is selling the items from their year together at the University of Pennsylvania. The images include some that are “silly” and others that show Musk as a budding entrepreneur before he became the CEO of companies such as Tesla and SpaceX.
Jennifer Gwynne says this picture of Musk in his car was taken in Philadelphia while on their way to see Pulp Fiction.
“I think these items are a snapshot of who Elon was just before he started to conquer the world,” she adds. “The photos show his less serious side — his silly, come-play-with-me attitude which would pop up now and then. His everyday quiet intensity was really what attracted me to him initially… I’m a sucker for tall, blonde, and nerdy.”
“I’ve been watching Elon’s assent over the past 25 years or so – initially, it was just articles in UPenn alumni magazines, and now, of course, it’s Time magazine covers and Twitter headlines.”
“And I would always tell my sister that someday I was going to sell the card with his signature on it, knowing it would be valuable (I’m a hoarder of anything sentimental I’ve ever been given).”
“Now is just the time to let these things go,” she adds. “I know an Elon Musk fan would enjoy them even more than me, and my husband and I are looking toward saving for my stepson’s college education.”
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When Elon and Jennifer dated, they both worked as Resident Advisors for the university’s dorms. Though they tried to keep it secret, Jennifer told the auction house that many people knew about their relationship.
Jennifer wrote on the auction house website, “We had gone as an RA team out to eat in 1995. As RAs on the same team, technically we weren’t allowed to date each other, so we just pretended not to—but everyone on the team knew and so did our boss.”
“We purposely sat away from each other, but when I walked around taking pictures of each table, I made sure to get this shot of him.’
According to PEOPLE, Jennifer also said, “My time at UPenn and my time dating Elon was amazing. I was blessed to be offered that level of education and to meet friends and classmates like Elon. And I can always tell the stories of Elon predicting the future of electric cars well before I passed them on the road every day. But I also have the memories of Elon’s family welcoming me into their home in Toronto during the holidays in 1994. I know Elon, Kimbal, Tosca, and the gracious supermodel Maye Musk are a tight tribe, but for a brilliant couple of days that winter, they let me be part of it.”
The auction for the items will run until Sept. 14, 2022.
“The auction came about because of Jeff Bezos’ $28,000,000 rocket seat sale as well as with the Musk graded homework,” Bobby Livingston, Executive Vice President RR Auction, tells PEOPLE. “RR Auction is a leading auction house of historical science, tech hardware and memorabilia related to the pioneers of the last 50 years. Our clients are some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs and advocates.”
According to Gwynne, ‘‘When we went to visit Elon’s mother in Toronto during the Christmas break of 1994, Elon gave me both the small ‘love, love, love’ note and the necklace. His mom had a number of these necklaces in a case in her bedroom and Elon told me they were from his father’s emerald mine in South Africa—he pulled one from the case. And because I had not gotten him anything as a Christmas gift (and I felt very guilty about that), he said we would consider the necklace an early birthday present for me. I wore the necklace for a number of years on and off, but it’s mostly been in my jewelry box for the last 10 years (always reminding me of Elon, of course).’’
“The emerald necklace and the birthday card are examples of his truly romantic side – which was also hard to catch glimpses of.”
“When he gave me the necklace and note, I saw the part of himself that he was offering to me, and it made me love him more.”
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Sources: PEOPLE, CNN, RR Auction, Business Insider
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