A Meeting with Evered Kreimer

It’s taken me way too long to get around to posting about this, but I had the opportunity to meet Evered Kreimer, the famous astrophotographer who first used the cooled emulsion camera.

Evered Kreimer was a big name in amateur astronomy back in the 60’s and 70’s. He had a contract with Sky and Telescope magazine and had his photos included monthly.  He became interested in astronomy when he was a teenager.  He moved to Prescott, Arizona in 1962 and built his observatory, housing a Cave 12.5″ F/7 Newtonian.   Later on he moved to another part of Prescott and built another observatory.  He also had his own imaging processing room, to process and develop the  Kodak Tri-X film that he used on his photographs.

One of his biggest contribution was being co-author in the book, The Messier Album published in 1978.  This book included information, sketches and photos off all the Messier objects as well as the history of Charles Messier.  This is a popular book among astronomers looking for a quick reference on any Messier object.  Kreimer included all the photos and John Mallas included the sketches of all the objects as seen through his 4″ Unitron Refractor. This book is still available today, look here.

Anyway. no one has heard of him recently at all, not for the last several years. During a trip visiting my grandparents in Prescott (from 2/14), we managed to get ahold of him and he invited us down to visit him.  Kreimer showed us his photos and told us his story.

Me and Mr. Kreimer

Me and Mr. Kreimer

About 5 years ago, Kreimer gave away his telescope and sold his house, the observatory was torn down. He moved to a quiet, beautiful neighborhood in Prescott. He still is into photography, while he can’t get out under the stars anymore, he photographs birds, and has since switched to digital. He has a small spotting scope that he carries around now. Kreimer is still sharp as a tack, and he knows his stuff. He is 92. My grandpa and him really connected, he worked in a photo lab for over 30 years and did some astrophotography of his own with his 12.5″ F/6 Newtonian. They were both talking about how they did all the image processing, chemicals used, etc. Kreimer took a particular liking to my sketches, and it was fun comparing sketches with his photos. He told me that in the 36 years The Messier Album has been out, he never received one letter, one phone call, nothing. I’m the very first.

It was a real honor to talk with him, and is a really kind man.  He signed my book:

Kreimer signature

This is the only signature in The Messier Album, and I’m so honored to have it be my copy.  Thanks to all, who made this possible, my parents, my grandparents, and, of course, Mr. Kreimer.

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8 thoughts on “A Meeting with Evered Kreimer

  1. JUSTIN;
    I’M SO GLAD EVERED GOT IN CONTACT WITH YOU. PER OUR PHONE CONVERSATION THE OTHER DAY I HAD PHONED HIM AND WE HAD A NICE TALK MOSTLY ABOUT YOU. HE’S MOST IMPRESSED WITH YOUR WEB SITE AND BLOG. AND CHECKS ON IT NOW AND THEN. HE SAYS YOUR DRAWINGS ARE OUTSTANDING.

    WE PLAN TO GET TOGETHER ONE AFTERNOON, HE WANT’S TO SEE MY 16-INCH AND MY HOME MADE 4-INCH REFLECTOR. HIS EYESIGHT IS NOT TO GOOD SO WE’LL HAVE TO MEET DURING THE DAY. WHEN HE COMES TO OUR HOUSE I PLAN TO HAVE PHOTO’S TAKING OF THE BOTH OF US NEXT TO THE SCOPES.

    GLAD TO HEAR YOUR GOING TO SUBMIT ARTICLES TO THE REFLECTOR AND THE PLANETARY SOCIETY ON OUR KREIMER MEETING SHOULD MAKE FOR INTERESTING READING, SHOULD JAR THE MEMORIES OF SOME OF US OLD TIMERS WHO EXPERIMENTED IN FILM ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY.

    BEEN OUT THE LAST FEW NIGHTS CHECKING OUT THE SAGITTARIUS OBJECTS.SAW THE OMEGA.TRIFID AND EAGLE NEBULAS IN BETWEEN THE TREES, HAVE A VERY SHORT WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY AS YOU KNOW.
    WELL JUSTIN I’LL LET YOU GO FOR NOW AND GOOD JOB ON YOUR KREIMER
    BLOG UP-DATE…..

    GRANDPA NEIL
    CLEAR SKY’S ALWAYS………

  2. Hello Justin,

    My name is John Johnson, I am a “very long time” amateur astronomer living in Omaha, NE. The reason I am writing you is that I received my September 2014 issue of the Astronomical Leagues’ Reflector magazine yesterday, and I read your inspiring article in the Reflector Mail about meeting Mr. Evered Kreimer!

    It too sought out and have met Mr. Kreimer. My meeting with him happened a little over 10 years ago, and at that time he was still living in his house west of Prescott. We have dear friends that used to live here in Omaha, NE that have moved to and now live in Prescott, AZ. We first visited them in the spring of 2004. One of my goals while visiting them there was to seek out and meet Mr. Kreimer.

    I had been a long time “fan” of Mr Kreimer and have copy’s of his book, The Messier Album, that he co-authored with Mr. John Mallas. I also have the original Sky & Telescope magazines in which they wrote a series of articles describing each Messier deep sky object, and which also included many of the sketches by Mr. Mallas and photographs by Mr. Kreimer. Their articles and the book have been an inspiration for me over all these years to observe the night sky!

    So while there in 2004, I did track down and meet Mr. Kreimer! I have attached a couple of pictures that I took back then of meeting and visiting with him. We sort of “surprised him” as he was in his bathrobe and was getting ready to go to a meeting in town later that day! (I have pictures that I would love to share with you.)

    But as you state in your article, he was one of the kindest and most gracious man that I have ever met! I feel he has been sorely “overlooked” as a real icon of amateur astronomy, especially the early years of amateur astro-photography. Later on I met the famous astronomer and astronomy popularizer, David Levy, and I tried to get him to do an article for one of the major astronomy magazines on Mr. Kreimer. But he has never followed through!

    We have visited our friends in Prescott a couple of times since that first time in 2004, but could not locate Mr. Kreimer. My friends there said that they had even driven out to his place, but he was not there anymore. I had assumed, sadly, that he had probably passed away. So when I saw your article I was overjoyed that he was still living and that you had had the honor and privilege of meeting him recently!

    I would definitely like to have an opportunity of meeting him again. We will probably be planning a trip to Prescott next spring, and if Mr. Kreimer is still there, I will definitely try to contact him. Do you have an address for where he is currently living there?

    I too have an “autographed copy” of “the Messier Album”! I am sure he does not remember meeting me and signing my copy of the book though.

    After reading your article, I checked out your web-site, and saw the article there too! That led me to want to contact you and share my experience in meeting Mr. Kreimer.
    I truly enjoyed your article and do hope you have time to write back, and to share more details of your meeting with him.

    Sincerely,
    John Johnson

  3. Justin, this was a very touching post! “The Messier Album” was also my first serious astronomy observing guide when I began observing in 1978, and I have worn that sucker out over the years. I find it hard to believe Mr. Kreimer got no fan mail from the book over the years — I’m sure it has been an influential guide to amateurs over several generations now. Anyway, I’m happy you made the effort to look him up and have kept in contact with him through your grandfather.

  4. Hello Justin: I too had wanted to contact Mr. Kreimer over the past years also, but kept putting it off. This past Sunday PM, I was going to try an online search. Unfortunately my quest ended rather quickly. I read an obituary: “Evered Kreimer of Prescott, Arizona passed away October 19th 2016. Justin….can you confirm or add to this. Roger Ivester
    drivester@hotmail.com

    • Hi Roger, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Evered Kreimer back in 2004. I received a newspaper clipping from friends that live in Prescott, AZ just a few days ago which was an obituary for Mr. Kreimer. He was 93 years old when he passed away in October. I have several copies of his book, The Messier Album, that he co-authored with John Mallas, one of which he personally autographed! I feel his contributions to amateur astronomy have not been fully recognized or appreciated over the years.

      John Johnson
      Omaha, NE

      • Hi John, nice to hear from you again! It is a very big loss. I am planning on writing a full size article for Sky and Tele coming in the next few months. If you’d like to contribute any more details that’d be much appreciated!

    • Hi Roger, I’ve been a big fan of your sketches over the years. I am very saddened to hear of this loss, which is a great one to the astronomy community. I plan to write a full biography for Sky and Telescope sometime soon. I also would like to possibly obtain his massive collection of film slides, and possibly catalogue them on a website. I’ll keep everyone posted.

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