On Wednesday, Henson's widow Jane Henson will donate 10 characters from the early TV show "Sam and Friends" to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
The museum already has a familiar Kermit the Frog puppet made famous on "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show." But the original Kermit looked more like a lizard. He was made with ping pong ball eyes and green felt from an old coat thrown out by Henson's mother.
Other early Muppets being donated to the museum include the precursors to Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch, as well as Sam from "Sam and Friends" who would lip-sync to popular music.