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9-16 Featured Item 1: Heddon Stockwell Type Meteorite Detector

Posted by on in Weekly WhatIsIt?
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We've got a meteorite detector for sale this week. Its not your average detector! This one was built in the 1950's by a Lawrence University professor (Appleton, WI) and was the first ever patented detector. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a manual or its power cord so we are unable to test it. There is also the tiny matter of us not having any meteorites to detect (yes, Josh is "acting" in the picture). The detector we have for sale consists of a round, wrapped copper tube which is to be worn over the shoulders via canvas straps. The unit weighs about 50 pounds. One side has a place in which to plug a cord and the other has a small "read out" area and white button. This is truly one of the most unique pieces we've had walk through our doors.

This precursor to the Heddon Stockwell-type Meteorite Detector was invented by Lawrence University professor William F. Read. Most information published about the detector actually comes from the second model built by Read which was wheelbarrow mounted (he was trying to perfect the Heddon Stockwell wheelbarrow mounted detector. This first model was worn over the shoulders as you can see in the above picture. You can read more about how the wheelbarrow model works in this article (which is also where I pulled the information in this paragraph from): http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1965Metic...2..369R

Additional information written about and by William F. Read can be found at these links as well as information about meteorites found in and around the Fox Cities: http://www.jstor.org/pss/3627173 http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1969Metic...4..244R http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/WI/WI-idx?type=div&did=WI.WT1960.WFRead&isize=text http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=b68533dd-054d-4624-a2b0-18a65e5bc85d

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