While I think an item that was originally used to kill people is far better off being converted into a sci-fi/fantasy prop that makes someone really happy and celebrates something positive, I understand why you might argue that as an item it has historical significance and should be preserved...but not the Graflex flash.
So.....all C96's were used to kill people?
This is a heavy blanket statement to use, I would like to disagree emphatically. A functional C96 has more value and use in its original form than in a converted form, this would be my argument for not converting it. A well maintained C96 can still have many more years of shooting left in it and therefore much enjoyment to be had. Plus, there are suitable replicas out there to convert. Now, if there were a C96 that was unusable for firing due to neglect etc. then by all means, it's fair game at that point.
The camera geeks amuse me to no end. What's more humorous is their discussions about this very subject on their tiny forums. What they don't get, is if it weren't for the value attached to these flashes BECAUSE of our hobby, most people would probably have thrown them away by now. There are VERY few people interested in ancient photography technology, and there is more than enough equipment to go around to satisfy the small numbers of their hobby. That said, there are also suitable replicas of this flash for BOTH hobbies to enjoy. Not to mention, very little is done structurally to the flash to ruin it's value. Other than the D-ring, and the ESB grip screws, the ANH version is almost unscathed.