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2008, Softcover
186 pages
Dimensions: 220 x 283 mm
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The Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Collection

English Language: English

Author: Arthur J. Ehlmann

The definitive work on Oscar Monnig and his famous collection

Oscar E. Monnig (1902�1999) was one of the greatest meteorite enthusiasts of all time.
He spent most of his long life in Fort Worth, Texas, earning a law degree from the University of Texas in 1925. His �only formal scientific training,� as he put it, was signing up for an astronomy course that was promptly cancelled for lack of enrollment. He worked for, and eventually headed, the dry goods business his family owned in Fort Worth until the sale of his company in the early 1980s. Although his vocation was business, his avocation was always meteoritics and astronomy. As a young man, he founded the Texas Observers astronomy club to promote interest in meteorites. To satisfy his curiosity about �rocks from space,� he traveled to some of the major American museums to view and discuss meteorites. The trip left him somewhat discouraged, when the curators at these museums treated him �as a nobody� and did not even offer to show him a meteorite.

The early experience further fired Oscar's lifelong passion for meteorites and his
drive to gather his own collection. He began collecting meteorites in the early 1930s, amassing one of the most significant private collections of his day. Oscar traveled
widely on family business and established a network of business associates, employees,
customers, and perhaps most importantly, local newspaper editors.

In later life, Oscar donated his impressive collection to Texas Christian University, along with an endowment that allowed for the curation of his collection, and eventually the design and construction of a museum to showcase some of his finest specimens. Oscar told his friend Dr. Arthur Ehlmann, who would become the collection�s curator, that �Fort Worth has been very good to me,� and he wanted his meteorites to stay there.

This book is more than just a catalog of specimen weights and numbers. It features original portraits of some of Oscar�s finest meteorite specimens, as well as historic documents, letters, and photographs from the Monnig archives. It is also a portrait of a man, his collection, and a life-long passion for meteorites.

The Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Collection was donated to Texas Christian University (TCU) over a period of 8 years, from 1978 to 1986. Prior to its transfer, the entire collection was cataloged by Mr. Glenn Huss of the American Meteorite Laboratory, Denver, Colorado. The current curator is Dr. Arthur J. Ehlmann, Emeritus Professor of Geology. The collection now contains over 1,450 different meteorites.

When Oscar Monnig died in 1999, a considerable amount of money was given to the Geology Department at TCU from his estate with the purpose of maintaining the collection.

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