Friday, January 27, 2012

The National Geographic Society

A dancer of the cafes, Algeria, 1917 photograph from the National Geographic Magazine
The National Geographic Society began as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel. On January 13, 1888, 33 explorers and scientists gathered at the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., to organize "a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." After preparing a constitution and a plan of organization, the National Geographic Society was incorporated two weeks later on January 27. Gardiner Greene Hubbard became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, eventually succeeded him in 1897 following his death. In 1899 Bell's son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor was named the first full-time editor of National Geographic Magazine and served the organization for fifty-five years (1954), and members of the Grosvenor family have played important roles in the organization since.

“Went up to the mill this forenoon and got 800 ft matching and 40 ft surfaced lumber for siding and doors.   Lettie and I went down to Mr. Bae’s at four o’clock and spent the afternoon and evening.”

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