Exhibit 4: Doheny and Ovshinsky Iron
The Doheny meteorite is a 155.8 kg (343.5 lbs) iron and was found in the grass near the swimming pool at the Doheny Mansion in downtown LA. The Doheny Mansion is now the site of the graduate campus of Mount St Mary’s University (MSMU). It is speculated that the meteorite was purchased early in the 20th century by the oil baron Edward Doheny, who died September 8, 1935. It seems to have been forgotten until a grad student, Russell Thomas, contacted John Wasson in 2016. A visit by Wasson hosted by Thomas and the MSMU administrator, Debbie Ream, confirmed that it was an iron meteorite; compositional studies showed that it is a sample of Canyon Diablo. The meteorite is on long-term loan to this Gallery from MSMU.
The Ovshinsky Iron is a 145 kg (320 lbs) mass of Canyon Diablo and was during the middle of the 20th century housed at the McMath-Hulbert Observatory in Lake Angelus, Michigan. The observatory belonged to the University of Michigan from 1932 to 1981, when it was sold. Some of its assets including this meteorite were purchased by Stanford Ovshinsky, a wealthy inventor. Among his 400 patents was the nickel-metal hydride battery. After Ovshinsky died in 2012, his wife Rosa (who has a Ph.D. in Physics) moved to San Diego to be close to her children and grandchildren. After remaining in its crate for 7 years she gave the meteorite to UCLA in 2019. Note the interesting wave-like regmaglypts (surface morphology).