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This is the 15th brief review in my series on National Geographic Magazines as they reach there 100th anniversary of being published.



The first article in this issue, by former president William Howard Taft, is about the three “New Englands” that were spawned across the world by their mother country.  The bulk of the article is about Canada, the oldest of these children.  It mainly deals with the country’s development including its constitution and self governance.  This covers similarities to, and differences from the United States.

The second country discussed, albeit briefly, is Australia whose federal constitution is much more similar to ours than Canada’s.  The third of these daughters is South Africa another federal state whose executive powers are “much enlarged because of the presence within the jurisdiction of a large number of native races”.  Apparently the indians and aborigines were too few to matter.

The article also covers the war effort and the assistance provided to England in both materials and manpower by these three nations.

The second article is about Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and is written by John Claude White.  The beauty of Lhasa, the Place of the Gods,  is extolled both  in its background mountain vistas and in its architecture, especially the Potala, part monastery, part palace, and part fortress.  While it and the other monasteries and gardens are praised by the author, he has a lower esteem for the people and their religion.  About some monks he says “they looked a villainous and truculent lot”.  He refers to the peasants as credulous and their religion as devil worship.

Associated with this article is a Pictorial Supplement entitled “Panorama of Lhasa”.  Here it is courtesy of Philip Riviere:

The third article in this issue cover a Society sponsored gala event held at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC on March 7th.  This was the fortieth anniversary of the award of the patent for the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell.  First they ate dinner, then after the meal the festivities began.

A large map of the United States with lights to show the locations being contacted was at one end of the hall.  A trace of this map can be found on page 297.  All 800 guest had their own telephone.  As calls were made they could all listen in.  Calls went to Ottawa and Jacksonville, Seattle and El Paso, New York and San Francisco.

Wireless telephony was demonstrated and then the speakers, one by one, gave their addresses.  Legends and leaders of this American industry.  During one speech several “statistics without figures” were given like: New York City and its suburbs has as many phones as in  “all the capitals of all the warring nation, including Japan”.  We were still a year away from entering the war.

Following the last article there is a “Note to Members”.  Due to “unprecedented conditions” (the war?) the importation of special inks for color work, combined with the increase in circulation has forced the postponement until April of the 32 pages of four-color work in the Article “America’s Playgrounds" which had been announced for March.

Tom Wilson

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While not part of the review, I did want to add this advertisement from the back cover of the March 1916 issue:

Thanks for all the photos, Phil.

They really added to my review.

Some Ads from March 1916

And thanks for the ads too.

Lhasa is personally one my top favorite of the vintage pictorial supplements. April 1916 issue coming up is a "big deal", no?

Tree panorama, Color images, or USA as the Best?  Or all three?



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