• Stuart H. Perry's contributions to meteorite collection and research, 1927-1957

      Plotkin, H.; Clarke, R. S. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
      Stuart H. Perry (1874-1957), an influential Michigan newspaper editor and publisher and a vice president of the Associated Press, developed a passionate interest in collecting and studying meteorites in the 1920s and 1930s. Firmly believing that meteorites belong in great museums where they can be properly investigated, he generously donated his meteorites to various museums after he finished his own study of them. He had a sincere interest in the National Collection of Meteorites, and donated 192 specimens--mostly irons--to the U.S. National Museum; these constituted some of the most important meteorites in its collection, and moved iron meteorites to center stage, a position still occupied. By applying current metallographic methods to the study of iron meteorites, Perry directed scientists to a powerful new research tool, which led to major advances in our understanding of meteoritic irons and helped give rise to a new field within planetary sciences. His groundbreaking monograph The metallography of meteoric iron served as a standard reference collection of metallographic photomicrographs of iron meteorites for more than 30 years. It remained an insightful and useful work on the structure of meteoritic iron until improved binary and ternary phase diagrams in the Fe-Ni(-P) system allowed a more detailed treatment of the formation of iron meteorites. Perry received many honors for his work, and held office in the Meteoritical Society, serving as a councilor from 1941-1950, and as a vice president from 1950-1957.