Friday, July 10, 2009

Oscar Mayer & Palomar Observatory

Earlier this week I learned of the passing of Oscar G. Mayer, of meat-processing fame. I was a bit confused as I confess that I had already thought that Oscar G. Mayer had passed years ago. Why? Because at Palomar Observatory our 60-inch telescope resides in the Oscar G. Mayer Memorial Building. Here is the plaque that is inside the building:

As it turns out our building is named for Oscar G. Mayer, Sr. who passed in 1965. It was the younger Oscar G. Mayer who died this week.

Here is a short obituary from Google News:

Oscar Mayer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Oscar G. Mayer, retired chairman of the Wisconsin-based meat processing company that bears his name, died Monday. He was 95.

Mayer died of old age at Hospice Care in Fitchburg, said his wife, Geraldine.

He was the third Oscar Mayer in the family that founded Oscar Mayer Foods, which was once the largest private employer in Madison. His grandfather, Oscar F. Mayer, died in 1955 and his father, Oscar G. Mayer Sr., died in 1965.

Mayer retired as chairman of the board in 1977 at age 62 soon after the company recorded its first $1 billion year. The company was later sold to General Foods and is now a business unit of Kraft.

Our condolences go out to the Mayer family. The 60-inch telescope continues to generate impressive results. All these years later we still very much appreciate the Mayer Family's gift to astronomy. Here is the Oscar G. Mayer Memorial Building:

And the Hot Wheels version of the famed Oscar Mayer Weinermobile that resides on my desk: