[meteorite-list] Robert Burnham

From: Steve Schoner <schoner_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 01:48:38 GMT
Message-ID: <20120624.194838.15267.0_at_webmail08.dca.untd.com>


Actually it was my mentor, Harvey Nininger that gave me the idea of the so called "meteorite cane" back in the 1960's. I might have popularized it when there were very few meteorite collectors, and used it every field I searched My fist one had a big General horseshoe magnet. I used it to pick up a few irons in a casual walk around the crater in 1967 or '68. So, For whatever reason the crater administrators did not seem to mind, and I did it in broad daylight right under the visitor center.

Things have changed since then. And back then there were not many "nerds" like me collecting meteorites.


---------- Original Message ----------
From: Michael Blood <mlblood at cox.net>
To: Mal Bishop <magbish3 at lowcountry.com>, "Met. Steve Schoner" <schoner at mybluelight.com>, Meteorite List <meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] Robert Burnham
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2012 17:42:20 -0700

(Prelude: Steve Schoner is the person who invented the "meteorite cane"
And took me with him to the Holbrook strewn field about 1990. I
Wrote an article on how to make a meteorite cane for my website
That was later published, but he was the sours of this information -
As most of you know, after 20 years of searching Steve fount THE
Glorietta Pallasite).

        Hi Steve, I quite agree with Mal,
        The meteorite community would benefit from a book of your
Memories and accounts interacitng and learning from the originals
and all your years of searching so many strewn fields - leading up to
Your finding the BIG Glorietta Mountain Pallasite, etc.
        Warm regards, Michael

On 6/24/12 11:46 AM, "Mal Bishop" <magbish3 at lowcountry.com> wrote:

> Dear Steve,
> Your message to the list regarding Robert Burnham and your relationship
> with him (as well as yours and Robert's relationship with Harvey
> Nininger, and Glenn Huss ) is a TRUE treasure and was a marvel to read!
> It is very interesting, and exciting, to know there is someone on our
> list who had known Robert personally as well as having the most enviable
> opportunity to work with such a stellar ( pun intended ) -- though a
> most under appreciated -- scholar/scientist of his time. I would love
> to read more of your times with Robert, Harvey, Glenn, and more on you
> and your remarkable career if at all possible. Have you thought perhaps
> to pen a book or publish papers/documents of your own history (i.e.,
> photos, personal letters, receipts of purchases, and other relevant
> stories you have collected over a long career and passionate hobby ,
> etc. )? I'm not trying to be presumptuous nor invade your privacy, but
> I'm sure there are many on our list that would agree with my sentiments
> on this!
> Well, I for one would be most appreciative of anything you see fit and
> are willing to share with us on the list regarding your experiences such
> as the one you just so kindly shared -- with your time and good graces
> approving!
> Kind regards,
> Mal
> On 6/24/2012 1:03 PM, Steve Schoner wrote:
>> I happened to go through my old mybluelight account, which I still see is up,
>> even though I canceled my account with them I noticed Message 21 on June 12th
>> 2012, which I have attached at the bottom of my rely.
>> I worked with Robert Burnham at Lowell Observatory from 1971 to 1974. I
>> remember him as a very shy withdrawn man small house on Lowell Observatory
>> grounds. I spent quite a few times with him after working with him and Norm
>> Thomas on the Proper Motion Program where we cataloged various stars that had
>> motions as seen against more distant stars. This involved using the blink
>> comparator, the very thing that Clyde Tombaugh used in making the historic
>> discovery of Pluto, the no so called "Dwarf Planet" (I still think it a full
>> Planet though).
>> That aside, as a person Robert Burnham was a very intelligent man. Among one
>> of the smartest persons I have ever known. He knew how to read Egyptian
>> hieroglyphics, had an avid interest in Abraham Lincoln, and was a virtual
>> walking library when it came to the stars above. One could at night point
>> out specific stars and he could tell you everything about them.
>> And I remember the many nights we spent observing the stars using those great
>> refracting telescopes at Lowell. One night in particular sticks in my mind
>> to this very day. The opposition of Mars in 1971. We used the apochromatic
>> refractor to observe mars in absolutely clear sky virtually free of any
>> turbulence. No winds that night, and it seemed the air extremely tranquil, as
>> if the air was not even there. The view of Mars was extraordinary, and as
>> Robert and I observed the planet directly it was as if it were the size of a
>> tennis ball at arms length. And that night, it was the only night like this,
>> we could actually see over several hours that we observed Martian clouds
>> drifting over the surface.
>> I took several photos of it, with my 35mm single lens reflex at prime focus,
>> but they are no where near what we saw with our eyes that night.
>> Robert remarked,that he had never seen Mars so clearly as that one night.
>> And to this day I have not seen another night like it.
>> Robert was a genius, and knew his stars, and on his own time spent over 20
>> years putting together his handbook.
>> I bought one of his hand bound Celestial Handbooks from him in 1972, It came
>> in sections, as he then did not have a publisher. I have the first very
>> thick ring bound installment, but not the rest.
>> His meteorite collection I remember fondly. I went over to his abode many
>> times to see it and his big collection of ancient artifacts from Egypt, and
>> some items from the Abe Lincoln era. (If I recall he even had some notes that
>> were attributed to that President). But it was the meteorites that really
>> interested me, all obtained from our mutual friend Harvey Nininger. Meteor
>> Crater irons, stones from Kansas, falls and finds.
>> And during that time we both were in contact with Nininger and Huss, often
>> sharing items in our collections and buying from them at the time. And the
>> prices then were but pennies per gram, and I remember the days when the
>> packages would arrive at Lowell, and we would open them at get our specimens
>> from the Nininger-Huss lab (American Meteorite Laboratory) up in Denver.
>> Harvey Nininger was living up in Denver wit Glenn and Margaret Huss at the
>> time.
>> I bought several specimens from Robert Burnham's collection that he got from
>> Nininger's original lab in Sedona (American Meteorite Museum), which closed
>> in 1961. I will have to look through my collection I bought a pieces of
>> Rolla, Gilgoin, Monahans (iron), Clover Springs, Covert, Pasamonte. All of
>> these came direct from Harvey Nininger. And when I spoke with Nininger years
>> after I left Lowell,he remembered Robert Burnham and the times when he would
>> go down to Sedona. Nininger specifically remembered the Pasamonte crusted
>> 2.6 gram piece I bought that I still have to this day, and that he sold it
>> and another to him as well.
>> That other piece of Pasamonte... I saw it, a beautiful 10.5 gram tear drop.
>> Absolutely beautiful complete specimen. Robert was thinking of selling it to
>> me and I wish I had bought it. It was maybe $2 per/gram if I recall
>> correctly.
>> As I recall, Robert had some very nice specimens, all from Harvey Nininger,
>> bought at the Sedona's "American Meteorite Museum" that closed in 1961.
>> I recall Robert fondly, as a frined a long time ago. His work at Lowell was
>> tedious and took much concentration. And what happened to him when he was out
>> of work, his life-long work, bothers me. Not a good end for such a man with
>> so many talents.
>> And like so many have asked to this day; Where is the Burnham Meteorite
>> Collection?
>> I wish I knew. I have only a few pieces from it that he was as a friend
>> willing to part with.
>> Steve Schoner
>> www.petroslides.com
>> Message: 21
>> Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 11:59:14 -0400
>> From: Michael Gilmer<meteoritemike at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] "Is there any religion that invites....
>> (Burnham's Meteorites?)
>> To: Kevin Kichinka<marsrox at gmail.com>
>> Cc: meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
>> Message-ID:
>> <CAKBPJW_DV-Ofqrz3VXHfjW4kwjaDMDGGObwERZBQwxSuQ8+D8g at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>> Hi List,
>> One last thing about this Burnham article. If you go to the bottom of
>> the first page, there is a link to part two of the article. The photo
>> at the top of part two shows Burnham in his "lab", surrounded by his
>> eclectic collection. In the center is a white cabinet similar to a
>> medicine cabinet. This cabinet is filled with meteorite specimens.
>> You can clearly see them and their specimen cards. There also appears
>> to be more specimens laying on the top of the cabinet.
>> Does anyone know which meteorites these are? And does anyone know
>> where these meteorites are now. I would give my right arm for one of
>> these specimens with Burnham provenance. If anyone knows where I can
>> acquire one of these, please contact me off-list and let me know.
>> Such a specimen would have very special meaning for me.
>> Best regards,
>> MikeG
>> ____________________________________________________________
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Received on Sun 24 Jun 2012 09:48:38 PM PDT

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