Found in Wisconsin, USA in 1858

An American iron meteorite, Trenton comes to us from Wisconsin, near the Trenton Township just east of West Bend. The area is characterized by effigy mounds constructed by the Mound Builders between 650 CE and 1300 CE.

Fragments of Trenton were first found in 1858—originally, the visitors were called “Wisconsin meteorites” by chemist and mineralogist John Lawrence Smith, whose interest and work in meteorites (then known as “aerolites”) spanned many decades. He eventually amassed such a fine meteorite collection that upon his passing, it became the property of Harvard College. The “Wisconsin meteorites” were brought to Smith by Mr. Increase Allen Lapham, whose attention to the strange rocks was brought by Mr. C. Daflinger, the Secretary of the German Natural History Society of Wisconsin. The 60-, 16-, 10-, and 8-pound masses were turned up near the surface, with a plough—in the same fashion as many other meteorites over our history of finding them.

Notable in the Trenton story are strange markings which Smith dubbed “Laphamite Markings,” in honor of his colleague and friend I. A. Lapham. A naturalist who specialized in the Wisconsin area, Lapham is recognized as the discoverer of the Panther Intaglio Effigy Mound and the Milwaukee Formation, and is the father of the National Weather Service.

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