Manuscript & Correspondence Archive

Description: Typed letter from G. P. Merrill to G. L. English
Keywords: Cumberland Falls | Price | Collection | Exchange | British Museum
Letterhead: Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum
Date: 28 April 1920
Language: English
Remarks: 1 page + 1 plate.
Acquisition date: 2011
Copyright: G. P. Merrill
Source: The Tricottet Collection Manuscript & Correspondence Archive

Merrill English meteorite letter
Merill English meteorite letter plate


April 28, 1920.

Mr. Geo. L. English,
Ward's Nat. Sci. Estbl.,
Rochester, N. Y.

Dear Mr. English:

Yours of April 26th at hand. I agree with you that a dollar a gram for the Cumberland Falls stone is a preposterous price. The same may be said regarding the majority of sales made by dealers. I would just as leave consider a dollar a ton a fair price if others will do the same. So let's consider things on that basis and lose sight of the absolute money value altogether. What I want is to build up our collections and am looking particularly for kinds rather than for numbers. So please conduct your exchanges on that basis. As to the list of desiderata which I sent you, would state that I consider nothing as represented in our collections unless there are at least 10 grams of it. Occasionally I have taken a smaller piece and utilized it for cutting a thin section. Of course, that takes it out of the collection.

I note what you say about the specimens being broken. Did that appear to be because they were poorly packed?

I cannot tell as to the quantity of the Cumberland Falls material. There must be at least 10 kilograms of it. The description, I am sorry to say, is still hung up in the Government office. I am expecting it to be issued daily but it does not seem to come. So far as I know, the only specimen that has gone abroad is that to the British Museum which I exchanged with Prior. I am going to pack immediately another specimen or two and send them to you at the McAlpine Hotel.

With best wishes, I am,

Very truly yours,
Geo. P. Merrill
Head Curator of Geology.

P. S. I put in with this proof sheets of the text, with one of the plates.