National Geographic's Collectors Corner

Collaborative site for collectors, dealers, & anyone interested in our history.

National Geographic Society - Army Air Corps Stratosphere Balloon Flight Collectibles

When I first became interested in collecting National Geographic, an experienced collector suggested that the first rule of collectiong "all things National Geographic" is - "you can't collect it all".  Although Mike Rubenstein was right, I had to come to that understanding  on my own.  However, during those first few heady months and years of collecting, my desire to learn about "all things National Geographic" led me to the story of Captain Albert W. Stevens and the National Geographic Society - Army Air Corps Stratosphere Balloon Flights of 1934 and 1935.  The accounts of both the Explorer and Explorer II Balloon flights are quite exciting and in my opinion, the story of the 1934 Explorer Balloon flight is one of the most thrilling of all National Geographic adventures.


Aside from the exciting stories, the stratosphere balloon flights produced some nice collectibles from the National Geographic Society as well as other participants and sources.  Wanting to share information about the Explorer Balloon items that I have been fortunate to add to my collection, I have decided to use this forum to engage in a bit of "Show and Tell".  Beginning this Sunday and hopefully on each Sunday over the next few weeks and months, I will be posting photos and information about items related to the Explorer Balloon Flights.  Please feel free to join in the discussion and share your items.  The first item up will be the story behind the most well known Explorer Balloon souvenier of all...the "Explorer II Balloon Bookmark".

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Cool. Those bookmarks are neat. The capsule itself is in the Air & Space Museum, iirc.
Hi Charles,

I was glad to see you make this posting and say those things. Using this forum for "show and tell" is exactly what this Collector's Corner is for! I wish more folks were doing that. I don't see much fun in having a collection that one never talks about or discusses with anyone. Having a place to show photos and descriptions is a great base from which to work. I am sure Edwin Buxbaum would have been amazed at the concept of the internet and its potential for collector's and collecting. Imagine if he had had eBay in the 1930's!

- Scott T. Shier



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