Airship to the North Pole: An Archaeology of Human Exploration
By: P. J. Capelotti (author)Hardback
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The North Pole has long been a lure for adventures. It has drawn those looking for a northwest passage to rich Asian trade routes, and it has attracted those simply hunting fro fame and the glory of being the first to get there. By the end of the 19th century, hundreds had lost their lives pursuing the quest. Inspired in part by the fantasies of Jules Verne and others, the search had intensified to such a degree at the turn of the century that royalty, explorer clubs, and newspapers were funding expeditions. Newspapers in the United States and Europe could not get enough material to satisfy the hunger of their readers for more. This volume chronicles the adventures of Swedish engineer Salomon August Andree, who made the first failed attempt to reach the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon in 1897, and of American journalist Walter Wellman, who organized and led three unsuccessful air expeditions from 1907 to 1909. The book investigates the stories behind the quests to reach this remote and inhospitable outpost by air and examines how those stories were created and reported by the press. P.J. Capelotti takes readers along of the archaeological remains of early polar aviators, the first such study by a professional archaeologist. He looks at the aviation science of these attempts, as well as the brilliance and folly of those who led them. What he uncovers allows readers to reflect on the distortions of the written historical record, particularly unkind to Wellman, and what that may tell us about our own age of exploration as we look to the last frontiers in space.
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- ID: 9780813526331
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