Note: This discussion was first posted to the Ephemera and Collectibles group. It has been updated and reposted here.
This collection is eclectic if nothing else. It was inspired by the article in the September 1988 number entitled “Spoofing the Geographic”. My parody collection is only a subset of a larger collection. What I am listing here is another portion of the collection, one that deals with magazine articles about the Society and its magazine. I have listed the September issue although technically it is not another publication’s view of our magazine.
On his website listed under Dealers Directory, John Carey has a list of sixty publications that reference National Geographic.
With this as my starting point, I was able to find twenty-six of those sixty items. This was obviously not a complete collection, but it stood fairly well as a “first cut”.
In the ensuing months, I have added several addition publications that either I had found, or acquired with the assistance of Scott Shier. A recent one was even spotted first by Philip Riviere.
And then came Jeff Persons comments in which he listed fifty-five additional publications to the ones I already had. Out of that batch, I was able to find thirty-two which I have included in my listing here. Of the fifty-five in Jeff's list, twenty-two were also on John's list. Of those twenty-two, I was able to find seven. Again, nowhere near a complete collection, but a good "second cut".
I have since found two more publications, one each from John's and Jeff's lists; and three more recently found by Jeff.
0] National Geographic Magazine, September 1988, Page 352, “Spoofing the Geographic”: This article is a six page look at parodies and cartoons about the Society over the years.
1] Scribner's Magazine, March, 1891, Page 61: "Mount St. Elias and Its Glaciers as Explored by the National Geographic Society's Expedition of 1890” by Mark Brickell Kerr. Article is twelve pages in length. It is nice to see that, even in its infancy, the Society was getting recognition.
2] Century Magazine, April 1891 (Vol. 41, No. 5), Page 865, “Two Expeditions to Mount St. Elias”: This twenty page article documents the following:
I – The Expedition of “The New York Times” (1886)
II – The Expedition of the National Geographic Society and the United States Geological Survey (1890)
The second article was written by Israel C. Russell.
3] The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, June 1892, Page 190: "Mount St. Elias Revisited" by Israel C. Russell. This gives a brief account of the second expedition to Mt. St. Elias, Alaska with the objectives being to climb Mt. St. Elias to further expand on the surveys done on previous expeditions. Article is fourteen pages in length.
4] Munsey's Magazine Vol. XXI, No. 3, June 1899, Page 384: "The Race for the North Pole" by Brig Gen. A. W. Greeley. This fifteen-page article discusses four ongoing expeditions to reach the North Pole, including Perry's NGS funded one. While their is no direct reference to the Society, it can be found subliminally as a word-string embedded in "the Sixth International Geographical Congress".
5] Chautauquan, March 1904, Page 23: "Reading Journey in the Boarderlands of the United States: Panama and Its Neighbors" by Gilbert Grosvenor. This article is eighteen pages in length. [Reprint]
6] Scientific American Supplement Vol. LX, No. 1551, September 23, 1905, Page 1: "The Central Great Plains". This article was reprinted courtesy of the Society and is three pages in length.
7a] Hampton's Magazine, January 1910, Page 1: "The Discovery of the North Pole". The cover has the first photo taken at the North Pole by the Peary Expedition, April 6, 1909. This is Part one of nine and is Peary's own account of the expedition and is twenty-four pages in length.
7b] Hampton's Magazine, February 1910, Page 157: "The Discovery of the North Pole". This is part two of nine and is a continuation of Peary's account of the expedition. The cover has a picture of Peary's flag and is twenty-two pages in length.
7c] Hampton's Magazine, March 1910, Page 303: "The Discovery of the North Pole". This is part three of nine and is a continuation of Peary's account of the expedition and is twenty-four.
7d] Hampton's Magazine, April, 1910, Page 329: ”The Discovery of the North Pole". This is part four of nine and is a continuation of Peary's account of the expedition and is seventeen pages in length.
7e] Hampton's Magazine, May 1910, Page 500: "The Discovery of the North Pole". This is part five of nine and is a continuation of Peary's account of the expedition and is sixteen pages in length.
7f] Hampton's Magazine, June, 1910, Page 653: "The Discovery of the North Pole". This is part six of nine and is a continuation of Peary's account of the expedition and is sixteen pages in length.
7g] Hampton's Magazine, July 1910, Page 3: "The Discovery of the North Pole". This is part seven of nine and is a continuation of Peary's account of the expedition and is sixteen pages in length.
7h] Hampton's Magazine, August, 1910, Page 165: "The Discovery of the North Pole". This is part eight of nine and is a continuation of Peary's account of the expedition and is sixteen pages in length.
7i] Hampton's Magazine, September, 1910, Page 283: "The Discovery of the North Pole". This is part nine of nine and is the conclusion of Peary's account of the expedition and is thirteen pages in length.
8] The Mentor, October 27, 1913, Page 1, "The Conquest of the Poles.": This account is by Rear Admiral Robert and is eleven pages in length. In addition there are six loose supplements, all photos of arctic explorers with daily “readings” on the backs.
9] American Magazine, May 1922, Page 26, “We All Have a Secret Love of Adventure and Romance”: This seven page article has numerous black and white photos and tries to show why the magazine is so popular.
10] Scribner's Magazine, April 1933, Page 204, "Homage to Switzerland": This is a five page short story by Ernest Hemingway that has multiple references to the National Geographic Society and its magazine.
11] The Literary Digest, June 9, 1934, Page 20, "Stratosphere Beckons Air Adventures.": This is a one page account of multiple explorations, both recent and upcoming with a shout out to “the most elaborate expedition into the stratosphere by the NGS and the US Army Air Corps”.
12] Aero Digest, December 1935, Page 46, "The "Explorer II" Stratosphere Balloon": This is a one page article about the technical aspects of flying the balloon into the stratosphere. The Society is mentioned by name.
12.1] Aero Digest, December 1935, Page 12, "A New High Record of 14 Miles": This is a one-page advertisement for the Wellington Sears Company. The company made most of the fabric used in Explorer II's balloon. The Society is mentioned by name in the ad.
13] Scribner’s Magazine, June 1938, Page 23, “Geography, Inc.”: This six page article includes several photos of pages from the magazine including one nude shot. It is part of a series of articles on magazines that sell.
13.1] Readers Digest, July 1938, Page 65, “Geography, Inc.”: This three page article is a condensed version of the Scribner’s article sans photos.
14] The Readers Digest 20th Anniversary Anthology, 1941, Page 18: This anthology includes a selection from the October, 1926 issue of the NGM. The title is "Commander Byrd's Story", by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, US Navy (Ret). The article is seven pages in length.
15] Coronet Magazine, June 1943, Page 37, “Armchair Travel, Inc.”: This five page article shows the Society as being both popular and patriotic.
16a] The New Yorker, September 25, 1943, Page 26, “Geography Unshackled – I”: This seven page article is the first of three parts of a profile on Dr. Gilbert H. Grosvenor.
16b] The New Yorker, October 2, 1943, Page 27, “Geography Unshackled – II”: This eight page article is part two of Dr. Grosvenor’s profile.
16c] The New Yorker, October 9, 1943, Page 27, “Geography Unshackled – III”: This eight page article is part three of Dr. Grosvenor’s profile.
17] LIFE Magazine, May 7, 1945, Page 13: Not really a reference, but a cartoon. One of many in the "Speaking of Pictures..." section where "Cartoons bring out the Humor in World War II".
18] The New Yorker, September 27, 1952, Page 83, “How to get a rather bad case of paranoia”: This three-page article is a tongue-in-cheek look at the official looking membership certificate and being ‘nominated’ for membership again while still being a member.
19] Newsweek Magazine, December 9, 1957, Page 62, “The Wreck of the Bounty – And the Way of the Geographic”: This one page article is about the Society’s discovery and exploration of the HMS Bounty shipwreck.
20] Time Magazine, June 15, 1959, Page 47, “Rose-Colored Geography”: This two page article is from the section “Headline of the Week” and is from the New York Daily News. It talks about “Bare-Breasted Boldness” but complains about the Society staying out of politics thereby painting a rosy picture of the world.
21] Life Magazine, September 20, 1963, Page 68, “U.S. Conquest of Everest”. This fourteen page series of articles includes a photo on page 72 of James Whittaker on the summit raising his ice ax with the American and NGS flags.
22] Esquire Magazine, December 1963, Page 206, “Two Cheers for the National Geographic”: This eleven page article is a light hearted tribute to the NGS and its magazine. It contains a photo of a “National Geographic Christmas Party” with some nudity and the iconic image from page 352 of the September 1988 NGM of a man and his collection. Caption says he’s single.
23] Women's Day, September 1964, Page 4, "Letter from Washington". This two-page article discusses the Society's many expeditions and how they are displayed in the new building.
24] Lithopinion Vol 2 # 4 issue 8, 1967, Page 11, “Breaking the Magazine Mold”: This two page article mentions National Geographic by name as not taking the newsstand route.
24.1] Lithopinion Vol 2 # 4 issue 8, 1967, Page 20, “Eight American Magazine Covers: A Graphic Exploration”: This is a four page, multi-layered op-art depiction of a Bull fight/Map. It is an hommage worth having.
25] New York Times Magazine, September 6, 1970, Page 10, "With the National Geographic On Its Endless, Cloudless Voyage": This eight-page article discusses the booming circulation of the Geographic as compares to other magazine. It tells how the Grosvenor family made the NGS.
26] The New Yorker, November 20, 1971, Page 61: Not really a reference, but a nearly full-page cartoon. This cartoon also appears in the above-mentioned September 1988 National Geographic Magazine on page 356.
27] Reader's Digest, September, 1974, Page 133, "The Fantastic World of Outer Space." This six-page excerpt is from the May, 1974 NGM.
28] Modern Photography, October 1974, Page 124, “Think Like Your Subjects”: This eleven page article is a study of Bob Sisson, photographer for the National Geographic. It includes many color photos of underwater life and insects.
29] Popular Photography, May, 1975, Page 22: "Through the Lens". This is a three-page article discussing the two-day annual symposium with NG photographers as well as free-lancers. They show their best work throughout the year and discuss their problems as well as possible solutions.
30] Kodak Studio Light, 1975, Issue #3, Page 2: This is an eight-page cover story about how the NG obtains what they are looking for...Quality!
31] Antique Trader Weekly Annual of Articles on Antiques, Vol. IV, 1975, Page 92: This is a four-page article about "Collecting National Geographic's" by Bob Finch.
32] Antique Trader Weekly Annual of Articles on Antiques, Vol. V, 1976, Page 52: This is a three-page article on "National Geographic Books" by Edwin C. Buxbaum.
33] Popular Photography, June 1976, Page 83, “Inside view: National Geographic gathers its talent”: This three page article covers the annual meeting of NatGeo photographers.
34] Photo Magazine, June, 1977, Page 44: "Special National Geographic". This forty-six-page French suite of nine articles, using many, many photographs. It also has a time line of major events at the National Geographic.
35] Newsweek Magazine, September 12, 1977, Page 111, “News Media: The Geographic Faces Life”: This one page article covers the NGMs shift to covering more controversial topics including the plight of blacks under apartheid and the ensuing backlash. It is a good counterpoint to the 1959 article in Time Magazine. (Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.)
36] Panarizon Story of America Cards, 1980, one card in a series of 2,256 (1979-1981). AKA Life in America cards. The card is entitled "National Geographic Society" with both sides containing many facts about the magazine and the Society.
37] Antique Trader Weekly Annual of Articles o Antiques, Vol. XII, June 1980 – March 1981, Page 178: This five-page article "National Geographic Article Reprints" is by Edwin C. Buxbaum.
38] Darkroom Magazine, February, 1982, Page 24: "The Eyes of the Geographic." This is a six-page interview with Robert Gilka, Senior Assistant Editor of Photography at National Geographic as well as his responsibility of overseeing the magazines large staff.
39] Historic Preservation Magazine, Sept./Oct. 1982, Page 42: "The Inside Story: National Geographic To the Rescue." This eight-page article is a report on the threatened temples of Angkor, Cambodia. It show the NGS's present, William Garrett's, passion for the temples. One photo appears on the May, 1982 cover of NGM.
40] Cosmopolitan, June 1983, Page 266, “An Inside Look at National Geographic”: This four page article contains several color photographs, one with nudity, and talks about the rivalry between the writers and the photographers.
41] Regardie’s Magazine, March 1985, Cover Story – Page 50, “All the World’s a Page”: This twelve page article includes photos of the Washington complex and a full page blowup of the first nude NGM photo (1896) with the caption “Get a load of them Zulus”.
42] MIT Technology Review Magazine, Aug./Sept. 1985, Page 4, "What You Told Us": This is a one-page discussion in the "First Read" section of the magazine. It discusses how the National Geographic is in third place in all Technology Review readers following Time and Scientific American.
xx] The Saturday Evening Post, September 1985, Page 8, A NatGeo-esque cartoon, but not really a reference. It appears on John Carey's list.
43a] American Cinematographer, October 1985, Page 50: "20 Years with National Geographic, Part I of two parts - NG Specials". This fifteen-page article deals with the Society's first shows; Everest, Grizzlies, Apes and the Lonely Doryman. This was National Geographic's first group of documentary specials.
43b] American Cinematographer, November, 1985, Page 60: "20 Years with National Geographic, Part II of two parts". This eleven-page article with many color photographs is about the people who film and make NG movies and Specials.
44] American Cinematographer, January, 1986, Page 58, "Explorer Series Goes High and Low": This ten-page article discusses the National Geographic Explorer television series and its move from Nickelodeon to TBS.
45] American Photographer, December 1987, Cover Story – Page 62, “A Geographic Century”: This fourteen page article is about the NGS centennial history by C.D.B. Bryan. It has many black & white and color photo, including the Zulu couple again.
45.1] American Photographer, December 1987, Page 94, “The Wizards”: This is a two page follow-on article about the National Geographic’s photographic problem solvers.
46] American History Illustrated, December 1987, Page 16, “A Society for the Increase and Diffusion of Geographic Knowledge”: This twelve page article is a reprint of a portion of C.D.B. Bryan’s book The National Geographic Society: 100 Years of Adventure and Discovery. A painting of the founding of the Society by Stanley Meltzoff spans the top half of the first two pages. A key to the painting identifying the 33 founders is on the following page. Several black and white photos are interspersed throughout the article as are color photos of various NGM cover designs.
47] Newsweek Magazine, August 8, 1988, Page 31, “Lost on Planet Earth”: This one page article is about a report by the NGS on the dismall state of geographic knowledge in America. The report is based on a survey conducted by Gallup in several industrialized countries. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, Americans scored dead last.
48] Photo Magazine, January 1989, Cover Story – Page 9, “100 Ans de Decouvertes et D’Exploits”: This French magazine is dedicated to the NGS and has 9 articles and hundreds of photographs over eighty-one pages. Articles include: 100 years in photographs, people, places, animals, science, conquest of the poles, space exploration, the pyramids, and a photo tour of the NGS headquarters. The photos, which include my favorite: the headless headhunter from 1912, are quite enjoyable. I just wish I could read French, although I can get the gist of most of it from the many photos.
49] Insight Magazine, March, 1989, Page 48: National Geographic Refreshing Its Lens." This three-page article discusses the Society's expenditure of 40 million dollars to improve the students’ knowledge of geography.
50] House and Garden Magazine, October, 1989, Page 100: "Society's Café." This is a three-page article about Mortimer's in Manhattan and it shows a menu in the form of a NG magazine for Nina Hyde. This is not really NG, but just shows the menu and is under the Food section.
51] Money Magazine, April 1990, Page 79, “Recently I became the heir to a colossal collection of National Geographic magazines…”: Not really an article, just one question posed in the section “Money Helps”. Very similar to the one in the 1991 Consumer Reports, but the answer is a lot more humerous.
52] Time Magazine, April 30, 1990, Page 89, “When Cultures Clash”, This one page article is about the firing of Wilber Garrett as NGM editor.
53] Consumer Reports, January 1991, Page 59, “What’s an old Geographic worth?”: Not really an article, just one question posed In the section “A Question of Money”.
54] Forbes Magazine, January 21m 1991, Page 42: "The World is Our Theme." This is a four-page article about National Geographic making its mark in television and trying its hand on audio-visual education, all under the guiding hand of the Grosvenor family.
55] Nude & Natural, 1992 Vol. 11, No, 4, Page 23, "The Geographic Needs a Nude Attitude Adjustment"": This two page cover story discusses the lack of white nudity in the National Geographic Magazine.
55.1] Nude & Natural, 1992 Vol. 11, No. 4, Page 25, "The Occidental Tourist": There is a photograph from National Geographic at the beginning of this book review on East Asian travel. Note: It is not in the book itself.
56] The New Yorker, October 11, 1993, Page 112, “Kindly Visions”: This eight page article in “The Critics” section is a book review of “Reading the National Geographic”, a book that argues that the NGM makes Americans feel at home in a world that does not exist.
57] Grolier Story of America Cards, 1996, one card in a series of 2,600 (1994-2001). AKA Life in America cards. The card is entitled "National Geographic Magazine" with both sides containing many facts about the magazine and the Society.
58] American Photo Magazine, July/August, 2002, Page 43: "Photographers of the Year". This is an eleven-page article on Steve McCurry. It shows many photographs of his work, especially the Afghan girl photograph of 1984 and again seventeen years later.
59] American Photo Magazine, Sept./Oct., 2002, Page 38: "San Abell Staying Composed". This is a four-page article about National Geographic photographer San Abell as he details how patience can pay off with a perfect frame.
60] American Photo Magazine, May/June, 2003, Page 52: This is a listing of the top 25 photographers for the year. One page has National Geographic’s Chris Johns as a member of this group.
61] American Photo Magazine, Nov/Dec, 2003, Page 72: "NG Master Class." This eight-page article discusses the four essential aspects of visual style, light, color, and composition.
62] American Photo Magazine, Jan/Feb, 2004, Page 56: "Digital Takes Off...Inside National Geographic's Break-Through Story." This is a six-page article about the National Geographic issue to be totally executed digitally.
63] American Heritage of Invention and Technology, Fall, 2006, Page 28: "Space Shot 1935". This is a nine-page article about the first Explorer and its partially successful launch on July 28, 1934.
64] Metro Times Chronicle, Spring 2012 (Vol. 2, No. 1), Cover Story – Page 6, “NarcoGeographic: How the National Geographic Channel Went to Pot”: This three page article laments the lack of journalistic integrity in the new breed of pseudo-reality TV programming on the NGC. It is very similar to the Baltimore Sun article below.
65] The New Yorker, April 22, 2013, Page 102, “Yellow Fever: 125 Years of National Geographic”: This seven page article in the “Critic at Large” department by Adam Gopnik paints the Society as being racist and sexist while, at the same time, being disappointed in the lack of nudity: “… the fight for one true map of the world, point by point and native by native, even, though not often, nipple by nipple.”
66] The Baltimore Sun, August 28, 2014, Page 3, “National Geographic’s cheap shot”: This article is about a show on the NatGeo channel. It compares the magazine favorably to the reality show culture of the TV channel.
67] Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 2015, Page 9, "Thanks National Geographic": This artical appears in the "News and Comments" section of the magazine. It is a recognition by the skeptical community of the bravery of the NGS for publishing the article "The Age of Disbelief".
67.1] Chronicles, A Magazine of American Culture, July 15, 2015, Blog, "National Geographic Goes Hyper-Political": This three page article written by John Seiler is a conservative rebuttal to the article "The Age of Disbelief".
68] Ad Astra, Spring 2016, Page 8, "NSS Correspondence": Not really a reference, but this is a one-page on a new National Space Society chapter in India. The photo portrait of the chapter founders has the February 1969 National Geographic map of the Moon in the background.
69] The Catonsville Times, July 13, 2016, Page 6, "Video shows wandering bear enjoying Catonsville": This short article discusses a video referred to as "... a homemade 'National Geographic: Catonsville'."
70] Time Magazine, November 14, 2016, Page 8, "'Green-eyed girl' held in Pakistan": This one paragraph item is one of four entries in a sidebar entitled "Ticker". It documents the arrest of Sharbat Gula, the Afghani girl made famous on the cover of a 1985 National Geographic, for ID fraud.
71] TV Weekly, April 23, 2017, Page 3, "Genius": This cover story is a one-page preview of the National Geographic's Global Event Series: Genius, starring Geoffrey Rush.
71.1] Science News, April 29, 2017, Page 34, "Drama of Einstein's life unfolds in new series". This is a one-page review of the same show. The NGC is mentioned by name.
A brief note on the numbering of these citations. A number by itself is (obviously) an individual publication. A number followed by a series of lower case letters represent one article over several issues. A number followed by a decimal represents a second article in one publication; a reprint in a second publication; or (in one case) a counterpoint article on a website.
Other parts of my peripheral collection includes magazines with cartoons (some referenced in the September 1988 NGM, some not), and direct or indirect homages to the Society or to its magazine.
Note: I just added a citation for the 1980 Panarizon Story of America Card entitled National Geographic Society.
Note: I just made a major revision to this list of publications. I added 32 items from the list of 55 provided in the comments by Jeff Persons. (Thanks Jeff)
Note: I just added a link to John Carey's list of NGM references in other publications.
Note: I just added a citation for the May 7, 1945 issue of LIFE Magazine for a cartoon appearing on page 13.
Note: I just added a citation for an article appearing in the January 1986 issue of American Cinematographer. Thanks Jeff.
I would like to add one from the Munsey Magazine, June 1899, Volume XXI, No.#3 entitled "The Race for the North Pole by Brig.-General Greeley. It is an interesting account of what is going on in the Arctic
Got it ! Thanks Jeff.
Women's Day, September 1964, page 4. This is in the "Letter From Washington" section. Discusses the Society's many expeditions and how they are displayed in the new building.
Note: I just added several citations to this list:
Aero Digest, December 1935 for an article (and an advertisement) about the Explorer II balloon flight. (Thanks Jeff)
The Saturday Evening Post, September 1985 (unnumbered reference) for a NGS-like cartoon. (Thanks John)
TV Weekly, April 23, 2017 for a cover story about the NGC series, Genius.
Science News, April 29, 2017 for a review of the NGC series, Genius.
While recently, Jeff listed three more items for this list, I have only found one. The other two GW Times, Feb/Mar 1972 and Publishers Weekly, January 8, 1978 have been added to my wish list. Oh well, one step forward - two steps back.