Biography and History

Daniel Moreau Barringer (1860-1928) is perhaps best known for his work with the Meteor Crater in Arizona. After graduating from Princeton University in 1879 and then from law school at University of Pennsylvania in 1882, Barringer began to study geology and minerology, first at Harvard University and then at the University of Virginia. In the early 1890s Barringer put his geology and minerology skills to work as he entered the mining business. It was after his mining career took off that he became aware of the crater in Arizona that would later make him famous. Before Barringer stepped in, the Meteor Crater was known as "Coon Mountain." Barringer proposed the theory that Coon Mountain was actually caused by the collision of meteoric material, most likely a small comet, with the earth. After proposing his theory Barringer founded a variety of mining, exploration, and iron companies in order to further explore the crater, which he studied in depth for a large portion of his remaining career. His theory has proven to be correct.

Brandon Barringer (1899-1991) led a busy career as an investment advisor and Chartered Financial Analyst, working for many corporations and institutions. After graduating from Princeton University in 1921, he joined the First Pennsylvania Company for Banking and Trusts, serving as Vice President for Trust Investments from 1933 to his departure from the company in 1949. He then began a more concentrated association with the Curtis Publishing Company, publishers of The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines. Barringer worked for Curtis until 1962, having served as a Director and Treasurer. He also served as President of the Barringer Crater Company and the East Texas Iron Company, in addition to acting as a director of the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company, Bantam Books, and the New York and Pennsylvania Company. He was a longtime member of the Finance Committee of the Wellington Fund.

Brandon Barringer was also active in many civic and scientific institutions, often serving as a financial advisor, trustee or manager. These organizations include the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Jefferson Medical College, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, the Nature Conservancy, The National Mental Health Association, the United Fund, and the Meteoritical Society, among others. He participated in archaeological expeditions to Ireland and Libya, and maintained active interests in such subjects as economics, politics, geology, meteoritics, and anthropology.

Source: From the finding aid for C1250

  • Barringer Family Papers. 1817-1979 (inclusive), 1900-1979 (bulk).

    Call Number: C1250

    Consists of over 100 cartons and boxes containing correspondence, legal documents, photographs, printed matter, and other material, which document both the careers and personal lives of Princeton graduates Daniel Moreau Barringer and his son, Brandon Barringer. Much of the material about Daniel Moreau Barringer focuses on the Meteor Crater in Arizona, which he spent a large part of his career studying and promoting.