My “Favorites” List
Under my Profile Information here at the ‘Corner there is a section titled: “Favorite National Geographic publication:”. I guess my answer to this prompt should simple have been the National Geographic Magazine as opposed to one of the other magazines or book series published by the Society. Instead, I chose to pick my favorite issue along with several other favorites from my peripheral collections.
Here are photos of all them along with brief descriptions of these items and my rationale for choosing them:
Issue: September 1912 “Head-Hunters of Northern Luzon”
The magazine only has the one article. It was written by Dean C. Worcester, Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Islands. With a sketch map on Page 835 and black-and-white photos throughout, it is an enjoyable read. Not to mention that there’s more nudity in it than in an early Playboy.
The reason I selected this issue, however, is the photograph on Page 898 of the headless head-hunter being brought back to his village in disgrace. Secretary Worcester attended this man’s funeral. This photo, alone, makes this issue my “favorite” issue.
Map: January 1902 “The Philippines”
The full title of this two-sheet map is: “Progress Map of Signal Corps Telegraph Lines and Cables in the Military Division of the Philippines”. Combined, these two sheets make a map roughly 67 inches by 35 inches.
My copies are originals in very good condition. Because of their age, I only briefly open them once. (They covered my pool table.) I wish I would have had a camera for that, but I am not going to open them again. They are simply too valuable. Being the only two-sheet map the Society every produced as a supplement, ices this as my choice.
Map Index: 1961 “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”
This is an index to a map of the Soviet Union that was printed by the Society in 1960. The map was never a supplement in the magazine. It has the required letter-number grid to allow it to be indexed, and the index was produced the following year.
I had the map for several months before I found the associated index. Since the index was missing the map, it was an ideal match. The fact that this is the only map index the Society produced that was not for a supplement or supplement revision makes this my choice for the list.
Index: January 1901 “Volume XI Jan-Dec 1900”
In 1910, the Society stopped including indices in the last issue of each volume. This forced the Society to print the indices as a separate “brochure”. At the time, there were twelve issues per volume. (It went to six issues per volume in 1914.) There were two previous years to 1910 that did not include indexes in the December issue. These years were 1900 and 1905. Those years required the printing of separate indices, especially if the volume was going to be bound into book form.
While there were indices printed separately for 1898 and 1899, at least some of the December issues from those years include that volume’s index. The 1900 index was the first mandatory publication. That fact, and my love of metadata makes this my choice to be among the “favorites”.
Article Reprint: March 1964 “The Last Full Measure”
It was a couple of weeks before my thirteenth birthday when John F. Kennedy was shot. The March 1964 issue had an article about his life and his funeral. That article was so popular, the Society reprinted it in brochure form. Interestingly, another article from this issue “Footprints on the Moon” was also made into an Article Reprint.
My love of Kennedy trumps my love of space exploration, hands down. This reprint had to be my choice.
Parody: January 29, 1966 “National Press Club”
This brochure commemorates the inauguration of Winston Booth, the National Geographic Society News Service Chief, as president of the National Press Club. In it, Mr. Booth is roasted quite thoroughly. The brochure even has a mock advertisement on the back cover that uses an artist’s recreation of the Explorer II balloon flight of 1934.
Of all the parody covers, articles, and pictures; this one shines brightest. Maybe it is because this particular one was produced by the Society, itself. The self-deprecating humor makes this one of my “favorites” picks.
Excellent choices all!
Well done Tom!
These are all excellent choices and very interesting picks. At the end of last year I came across an issue of the Headhunters described as "without covers". It was actually an article reprint (you could tell by the pictures). I am embarrassed to tell you how much I paid for it! Kennedy and space exploration go hand-in hand.
Keep up the excellent work!
~ Awesome sharing Tom ~