Dr. Roy S. Clarke, Jr with the Old Woman Meteorite

ID: SIA2011-0737

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1978

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 416, Box 8, Folder: NMNH, Public Information Office, Records

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.
Download IIIF ManifestRequest permissionsDownload image Print


Dr. Roy S. Clarke, Jr. curator of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History meteorite collection, stands behind the Old Woman Meteorite, the second largest meteorite discovered in the United States. Found in 1975, in the Old Woman Mountains in the Needles Resource Area, removing the meteorite from its resting place proved difficult because of the rugged terrain, the weight of the meteorite, and the desert's summer heat. It took the assistance of the U.S. Marine Corps, using a helicopter and cargo net, to get the job done.


  • Clarke, Roy S., Jr
  • Old Woman Meteorite
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Meteorites
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Mineral Sciences
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • See Neg. SIA2011-0736 and SIA2011-2400 for other views of Clarke with the meteorite.
  • In March 1978, the meteorite was sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for study and to be placed on exhibit. A 942 pound (427 kg) section was removed. The section was closely examined to determine its chemical composition, mineral distribution, and rare gas content. These examinations indicated that the Old Woman Meteorite may be rare because of an internal structure that appears to be transitional between two well-known types of metallic meteorites.
  • In September 1980, the Smithsonian sent most of the meteorite, minus 15% of its bulk (the 942 pound {427 kg} section), back to California to be placed on display at the Desert Discovery Center in Barstow.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 416, Box 8, Folder: NMNH, Public Information Office, Records

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Meteorites
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Specimens
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Meteors
  • Museum curators
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


Washington (D.C.)


  • Photographic print
  • Object
  • Person, candid

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 8w x 10h; Type of Image: Person, Candid; Object; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

View Full Record