WILKINS, Sir Hubert - Under the North Pole: The Wilkins-Ellsworth Submarine Expedition

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Historical Memorabilia Start Price:2,500.00 USD Estimated At:3,000.00 - 5,000.00 USD
WILKINS, Sir Hubert - Under the North Pole: The Wilkins-Ellsworth Submarine Expedition
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Under the North Pole: The Wilkins-Ellsworth Submarine Expedition, Lincoln Ellsworth’s copy

New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1931. “Of this Contributors’ Edition of Under the North Pole, twenty-nine copies have been printed, of which this is Number 2.”

Folio (12 ¼ X 9 ¼ in., 314 X 238 mm). ¾ morocco over blue cloth boards, spine lettered in gilt with gilt compass design, top edge gilt. Housed in the original riveted stainless steel slipcase. Near Fine, with slight rubbing of the boards, extremities, and the corner tips

Inscribed and signed on the half-title page by Sir Hubert Wilkins to the explorer Lincoln Ellsworth who was second in command of the expedition, “To my good friend Lincoln Ellsworth with sincere appreciation of his splendid service to exploration. Hubert Wilkins, May 15, 1931.”

“This volume has been carried on the Polar voyage of the Submarine Nautilus. The signatures of the Expedition’s personnel have been entered here at the “furthest north” attained, as here indicated.” (There are no signatures of the remaining personnel in the book.)

Gelatin silver matte double-weight photographic portrait of Sir Hubert Wilkins as frontispiece, signed on the print at lower left in red crayon by the photographer, Hal Phyfe: “Of this studio portrait of Sir Hubert Wilkins, Twenty-nine numbered prints have been made by Hal Phyfe for the Contributor’s Edition of “Under the North Pole” and thereafter the negative was destroyed. Hal Phyfe.

Polar explorers Sir Hubert Wilkins and Lincoln Ellsworth devised the plans for a trans-arctic submarine expedition while vacationing in 1930. Most of the financing was undertaken by millionaire Ellsworth, with newspaper tycoon Randolph Hearst contributing $61,000 in return for exclusive rights to the story. Wilkins leased a decommissioned submarine, O-12, and modified it extensively for under-ice operations including an onboard scientific laboratory and man-sized hollow drill capable of boring through 15 feet of ice. The vessel was renamed Nautilus in honor of Jules Verne’s fictional submarine from his novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.