The Meteorite


An Account of the Fall of a Meteoric Stone in the Cold Bokkeveld, Cape of Good Hope,

Published letters between Michael FARADAY (scientist electromagnetism and electrochemistry ) and

Sir John F.W. HERSCHEL (famous astronomer/polymath)

Thomas MACLEAR, 1838-39

Book Description: First Edition, extracted from The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, volume 129, pp.83-87; quarto, disbound, a very good copy, London, The Royal Society, 1839. WITH: Thomas Maclear; Further Particulars of the Fall of the Cold Bokkeveld Meteorolite, ibid, vol 130, pp.177-182, with a lithographic plate, 1840. The first part includes a letter by Michael Faraday. * The account is in the form of letters to Sir J. F. W. Herschel. Faraday's is a "Chemical Account of the Cold Bokkveld Meteoric Stone". The American Journal of Science and Arts (1st Series); volume 40, No 1 reported: ".the event occurred on the morning of Oct 12, 1838. There was a cloudless sky without wind, when, say the Hottentots Kievet and Rattray, both under oath before a magistrate, about 9 o clock we heard a strange noise in the air, resembling the loudest thunder we had ever heard; and on looking up we perceived a stream passing over our head, issuing a noise which petrified us with terror when something fell and a smoke arose from the grass. My master sent me to look what it was that had fallen; when I found a stone quite warm, so much so that I could not hold it in my hands. It might have been the weight of seven or eight pounds. In the paper of Dec 11th, is a detailed statement signed Thos. Maclear, at the Royal Observatory, Dec 7, 1839. From this statement we select the following particulars. "The Cold Bokkeveld is an irregular valley or basin, bounded by high rugged mountains, as is also the case with the basons of Worcester and Tullogh. The report was heard fifty miles from the Bokkeveld: of the two reports head at Worcester, it is probably that the second was an echo from the mountains, as only one report was heard in the Bokkeveld.

continued: To Judge Menzies and Mr George Thompson, who were travelling ninety miles east of Cold Bokkeveld, the meteor appeared to explode nearly over their heads a decisive proof that it was much elevated at the time. Mr Maclear visited the Bokkeveld on purpose to examine the eye-witness in person. Mr Thompson states that at about 9 o clock AM, October 13, the meteor appeared to approach from the west with great velocity and precisely similar to a large Congreve rocket; it expanded nearly over head, apparently not more than three hundred to four hundred feet high, dispersing in large globes, the size of forty two pound shot, of quicksilvery appearance, then fell for a few seconds towards the north and vanished. .On reaching the Bokkeveld, almost one hundred miles, they ascertained that the meteor had exploded and stones fallen there about the time they witnessed the phenomenon. The Rev Mr Zahn, of Tubogh, sent in to Mr Watermeyer a stone broken by the fall into two pieces, the same stone that was analyzed by Mr Faraday; it weighted twenty seven ounces another weighed four pounds two ounces avoirdupois. All that was obtained amounted to about twenty pounds avoirdupois. We are so fortunate to possess a good specimen of the African meteorite, through the kindness of a friend in Boston. It corresponds with Sir M. Faraday s description, and is very different in appearance from any meteorite which we have seen. Mr Maclear concludes his account by saying that he has seen a fine meteorite in the hands of a farmer in the country; it was picked up nearly sixty years ago, by a Hottentot, who saw it fall, and by him it was given to his master, the grandfather of the present possessor. This man has refused fifty dollars for it, as the captain of a ship said it would secure the possessor against the effects of a thunder storm."

Notice of the Fall of an Aërolite near Middlesborough, Yorkshire, on the 14th of March, 1881; and brief Account of some of the Particulars of the Occurrence.


Author's presentation inscription to front wrapper: "Prof E F Stone, &c.- / with the authors compliments".

Book Description: Newcastle, "Daily Chronicle" Office, 1881. Small8vo. In the original printed wrappers. Offprint from the Newcastle "Daily Chronicle", March 30th, 1881. Light soiling to extremities, otherwise fine and clean. 7 pp. Scarce offprint issue inscribed by the author to Professor E. F. Stone of this short memoire on the observations of the fall of an aërolite near Middlesborough in Yorkshire.Alexander Stewart Herschel (1836 - 1907), son of John Herschel and the grandson of William Herschel, did pioneering work in meteor spectroscopy. Herschel was the first to observe a meteor spectrum.

Binding: Soft cover

Minerals from Earth and Sky (Smithsonian scientific series volume 3)

George P. Merrill; William F. Foshag

Book Description: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less.

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good