Category Archives: NGS History

On Everest, It Is Always the Wind

The man with three dreams: going on expedition with Admiral Byrd, working for National Geographic, and climbing Everest…Listen to an excerpt. It’s climbing season on Mt. Everest, so let’s take a look back at one of the pioneers of that … Continue reading

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Handyman, Camp Cook…Takes Good Pictures Too

An expert lab man and genius at improvising in the field, Richard Hewitt Stewart exemplified many of the qualities associated with National Geographic photographers. During his 42 years on staff, he continually had to produce high-quality images under the most … Continue reading

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First Day on the Job, April 1, 1899

On this day in 1899, a quiet revolution took place at the Geographic. The Society, founded in 1888, was still a small, mostly local, organization and struggling mightily to stay afloat. All of that would change after Alexander Graham Bell … Continue reading

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Our History Is Our Strength: A Tribute to Helen Churchill Candee

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Laura Newcomer chronicles the life of Helen Churchill (Hungerford) Candee (10/5/1858 – 8/23/1949), a world traveler, journalist, women’s rights activist, and contributor to National Geographic Magazine. “If I fail to obtain the house of … Continue reading

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Does Love Conquer All? Last Known Photograph Sparks Hope for Future

By Laura Newcomer Described by researchers in 1852, photographed once in 1959, and not seen since— this 52-year-old photo in National Geographic provides the only evidence of the existence of a rare species of sea slug published in more than … Continue reading

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The Panama Canal and a “Staunch Little Craft” of Polar Exploration

Looking back at this month’s issue of National Geographic from 100 years ago gives us a window into what was then one of the major undertakings of the modern world. “The Panama Canal,” illustrated with 48 photographs, takes up over … Continue reading

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“Old Probabilities”

If you area reading this anywhere in the United States this week, you’ve probably been tuned into the weather more than usual.  From gale warnings in the Gulf of Mexico, blizzards in the Midwest, and ice storms in the East, … Continue reading

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The Hazards of Being a Geographic Photographer

Going through some old newsletters by former Director of Photography, Bob Gilka, I came across this anecdote about photographer Dave Boyer. In 1964, he was in Turkey photographing an expedition searching for the tomb of Antiochus I. Boyer was running … Continue reading

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Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines

One hundred years ago this month, the Society held its annual banquet in downtown Washington, celebrating the new art of aviation that was transforming the U.S. military.  President William Howard Taft was in attendance, as were the ambassadors of Great … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to us—123 and counting!

Today’s the day we wish ourselves a happy birthday and many more, especially since we will be celebrating the big 125 in just two years.  For you Latin lovers out there, that’s a quasquicentennial.  (Thankfully, we’ve got two years to … Continue reading

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