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Meteoritics at the Smithsonian Institution is intimately linked to the broader growth of the science, and traces its roots through influential individuals and meteorites from the late 18th century to the dawn of the 21st century. The Institution was founded with an endowment from English mineralogist James Smithson, who collected meteorites. Early work included study of Smithson’s meteorites by American mineralogist J. Lawrence Smith and acquisition of the iconic Tucson Ring meteorite. The collection was shaped by geochemist F.W. Clarke and G.P. Merrill, its first meteorite curator, who figured in debate over Meteor Crater and was a US pioneer...

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