[meteorite-list] NPA 07-11-1875: Meteorite? Falls in Illinois

MARK BOSTICK thebigcollector at msn.com
Fri Oct 1 13:31:37 EDT 2004

Paper: Atlanta Constitution
City: Atlanta, Georgia
Date: Sunday Morning, July 11, 1875
Page: 2

A Chip from a Star
(Illinois State Register)

     A few days ago, as a lady, who resides in the south part of the city, 
was standing at the gate in front of her residence, she was startled by a 
rustling sound in one of the shade trees, and instantly afterwards heard 
some heavy object drop with a loud thump on the plank walk.  On picking up 
the "thing," it was found to be about two inches long and three-quarter of 
an inch thick, and appearance composed of exceedingly dense iron, with 
yellow blotches that resemble sulphur, and covered with a black substance 
resembling coal tar.
     When picked up it was found to be uncomfortably warm for the hand, and 
all the circumstances combined lead irresistibly to the conclusion that this 
little body is a fragment of a larger one which was a meteorite or aerolite. 
  The sides of the fragment have the appearance of being split off from 
another body, and present longitudinal stria in the direction of the 
fracture.  The ends seem to have been squarely broken off, somewhat like the 
fracture made by the breaking of a mineral known as galena.  This little 
piece fell at about 8 o'clock in the afternoon when the sun was shining in a 
clear sky, and no doubt the greater body burst in the extreme upper regions 
of the atmosphere in the full blaze of sunlight, and so escaped observation.
     If this had happened during the darkness and stillness of night, the 
light and noise would no doubt have attracted attention.  A moment's 
inspection of this fragment is sufficient to show that it closely resembles, 
in every respect, the aerolites that are known to have fallen in many parts 
of the world, and that are treasured as great curiosities in many museums; 
the more so as the substance of which it is composed resembled in its 
chemical combinations no mineral of terrestrial origin.  Wherever these 
bodies or fragments are found they may be instantly recognized by this 
peculiarity; their substance being known as meteoric iron. A body of this 
kind was found in South American that is estimated to weigh 50,000 pounds; 
another in the Yale College cabinet, which was found in Red river country, 
weighs 1,685 pounds.


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