American Meteorite Museum in Postcards Updated 09/20/07

Winslow location: 1946-1953

The American Meteorite Museum (AMM) located near Meteor Crater was opened by Dr. Harvey H. Nininger from October 1946 to September 1953. It was the worlds first private meteorite museum dedicated exclusively to the study of meteorites. The museum was located near Winslow, Arizona, on a section of road that was was once part of a great paved highway known as Route 66.

Numerous postcards (all but one are real photos) are known that show both the outside of the building as well as some displays inside. Additionally postcards were sold by the AMM showing meteorites in the collection and views of Meteor Crater. The latter are much less common. There is also a photo of the building naming it an observatory (See AMM 1 below). This was taken before it was occupied by Nininger.

Sedona location: 1953-1960

With business dropping off, due to the building of  I-40 north of the existing highway, Dr. Nininger was forced to move the museum to Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, Arizona. The collection was housed in a brand new building built especially for the collection. It remained there from September 1953 to July 1960 when the collection was finally sold to ASU.

We have only been able to identify one postcard that is tied directly to the Sedona building. It is a very hard to find chrome postcard. Please enjoy the postcards.

If you want more information on Dr. Nininger here is a fascinating transcription of an oral interview by him from Jan. 26, 1976.  Nininger Interview

We stopped by Sedona in Feb 06 to see if the building was still there. All we had to go on was the AMM14 card. Amazingly we were able to find the building on our first pass through the town. The building had been remodeled with quite extensive work to the front of the building. I was able to take an image of the building that is close the same spot the original image was taken.

Exterior photos (Winslow)

AMM 1 Pre 1940 #D331, The L L Cook Co., Milwaukee, Real Photo. The card below shows the building before it was the Nininger Museum. To my knowledge it was never an observatory but is was called that by the locals. It is just too far away from the crater to see much but the raised rim from the ejecta of the impact (think about the original names for the feature Coon Butte or Meteorite Mountain). We both have a copy of this card in our collections. We don't have any cancelled cards which would help to date the card better. If you have any for sale please email with prices.

observatory.jpg (86632 bytes) Click on image to enlarge.

AMM 2 1940 Unnumbered Frashers, Real Photo. Almost the same angle as the AMM1 card but different. If you have a dated card let me know.

AMM-Observ2.jpg (56851 bytes) Click on image to enlarge.

AMM 3 1940 #B9714, Frashers, Real Photo. This is also probably before Nininger used the building as it predates his occupation of 1946. We don't have this card in our collections but would love to have a copy.  This is probably because it has no text on the card that identifies it as a Meteor Crater card. Obviously the building was occupied before Nininger used it but were not sure what it was used for. If you have one for sale please let me know.

PreAMM.jpg (87515 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

AMM 4 1946-1953  #M1, Unknown, Real Photo. We don't have a good date for this one. It is probably the first postcard of the Nininger Museum. Notice the tower has no windows in it. That should put it very close to 1946. I also wonder if that is Nininger's car. We both have these cards but no cancelled one. If you have any you want to sell drop me a line.

AMM-M1.jpg (105175 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

AMM 5 1946-1953  Unnumbered, Unknown, Real Photo. We don't have a good date for this one. It is definitely an early card of the Nininger Museum as the tower still has no windows in it. Scanned image provided by Carleton Moore. If you have one of these cards you want to sell I am always buying.

amm-cm.jpg (182095 bytes)

AMM 6 1946-1953  Unnumbered, Carson, Real Photo. I love this one as it shows a different angle of the museum than all other photos of the exterior. If you have ever been to the museum, this looks like the photographer was standing on Route 66. We only have one copy of this one. If you have an extra one for sale send me a line.

AMM__Carson_[1].jpg (44500 bytes) Click on image to enlarge

AMM 7 1946-1953  Unnumbered, Carson, Real Photo. Handwritten note on the back of the card mentions June 1947. Can't you just feel your car bumping along RT 66 when all of a sudden you come along these two billboards. This image is courtesy of Joe Sonderman. We don't have a copy of this one so if you have an extra one for sale send me a line.

AMM Billboards.jpg (77102 bytes)

AMM 8 1946-1953  #M11, Unknown, Real Photo. This one is obviously after AMM 7 as it has the windows in the Tower as well as the glass blocks on the front of the building. Is that the same car in both this one and AMM 7? We both have these cards but no cancelled ones. If you have any you want to sell drop me a line.

AMM-M11.jpg (79875 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

AMM 9 1946-1953  #40163, R M Fronske, Chrome. This is a nice color card probably dated after AMM 8. Notice the flag pole and the weather station are missing from the previous photo. The card in my collection has 1949 written on the back. This cards also comes in a version with square corners though this seems to be harder to find. We both have these cards but no cancelled ones. If you have any "square corner" or cancelled cards you want to sell send me an email.

AMMChrome.jpg (160857 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

AMM 10 2003  Unnumbered, Mark Bostick, Chrome. This shows the condition of the museum building in 2003. Unfortunately the Arizona weather has not been kind to the building. To me is is kind of a sad picture. But is somewhat poetic if one realizes the same thing is happening to the neglected meteorite fragments laying in the ground just a short distance away.

CurrentAMM.jpg (151317 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

Interior Photos(Winslow)

AMM  11 1946-1947  Unnumbered, Unknown, Real Photo. Wow look at all of those Canyon Diablos on the table. You can also see the cabinets are loaded with meteorites. I wonder if the people in the photos are tourists or family members? I have one cancelled Jan. 13, 1947 postmarked from Los Angeles. We both have uncancelled cards in our collections. Let me know if you want to sell yours.

AMMCorner.jpg (119729 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

AMM 12 1946-1953  Unnumbered, Unknown, Real Photo. Here is a close-up of the largest Canyon Diablos on the table the girl is standing by in the AMM 11 photo. The largest one at 1406 lbs. is now owned and on display at the Meteor Crater museum.  This is probably from the same time period as AMM 11 as the markings on the back are the same. The same person wrote the text on both cards as well. We both have copies of this one but no cancelled ones.

AMM4CDs.jpg (140561 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

AMM 13 1946-1953  Unnumbered, Unknown, Real Photo. Another close-up of the interior of the museum. Notice that the rugs hanging on the wall are the same as AMM 9. The only differences are the plaques are missing on the end display case and the largest CD table as well as one extra picture on the wall. Hard to tell which one is earlier between the two. We only have one copy of this one. If you have an extra one for sale send me a line.

AMMInterior.jpg (83892 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

Exterior Photo (Sedona)

AMM 14 1953-1960 K900 Petley Studios. Chrome. This is the only card from his museum in Sedona. We have visited the the building and it is still in use today. We have one cancelled photocopy from Apr. 1955. If you have an extra one for sale send me a line.

AMMSedona.jpg (195470 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

Other AMM Postcards

AMM 15 1946-1960  Unnumbered, Unknown, Linen. This card was sold by the AMM but little else is known about it. It is a very poorly made card as the image is quite weak. We only have one copy of this one. If you have an extra one for sale send me a line. We would also love any cancelled cards.

AMM Canyon D.jpg (189375 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

AMM 16 1946-1960  #E4044, Lollesgard, Real Photo. This card does not state the specific meteorite it shows. It is piece of the Brenham meteorite that shows both the iron part as well as the pallasite part. We don't have any copies of this one. If you have an extra one for sale send me a line. We would also love any cancelled cards to help with dating it.

brenham1.jpg (109426 bytes) Click on image to enlarge

AMM 17 1946-1960  #E4045, Lollesgard, Real Photo. This card does not state the specific meteorite it shows. In fact it is Springwater a pallasite from Canada. We recently had the opportunity to hold the specimen which is at ASU. We only have one copy of this one. If you have an extra one for sale send me a line. We would also love any cancelled cards to help with dating it.

AMM Springwater.jpg (100247 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

 

AMM 18 1946-1960  #E4046, Lollesgard, Real Photo. This card also does not state the specific meteorite it shows. It is Bruno a IIAB Hexahedrite also from Canada. We also had the chance to hold this one as well.  Unfortunately the photo does not do it justice. This is simply one gorgeous meteorite. We only have one copy of this one. If you have an extra one for sale send me a line. We would also love any cancelled cards to help with dating.

AMM  Bruno.jpg (91431 bytes)  Click on image to enlarge

 

AMM 19???? I'm sure there are more out there. If you have any for sale send me a quick email. Even if you don't want to sell it send me an image of the front and back so I can include it here. We would also love to hear any stories from visitors to the museum when it was opened and well as any additional information that would shed light on these cool postcards. We would also love some photos of the museum when you visited if you have any let us know.

 

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