BYRD, RICHARD E.

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BYRD, RICHARD E. - Stunning Image of Admiral Byrd in Arctic Attire Bearing the Dates of His Groundbreaking Flights over the North and South Poles
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BYRD, RICHARD E. - Stunning Image of Admiral Byrd in Arctic Attire Bearing the Dates of His Groundbreaking Flights over the North and South Poles

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BYRD, RICHARD E. (1888-1957). Polar explorer and aviator. SP. (Signed twice “RE Byrd”). 1p. 4to. N.p., May 9, 1926 and November 28, 1929. A black-and-white photograph of Byrd dressed in polar attire, standing in front of an exterior doorway with the word “Academy” laid into the floor tile. Very faintly inscribed across the image “with best wishes” to Dutch-American Universalist minister and autograph collector Cornelius C. Greenway, (1896-1968). Byrd has signed the photograph twice and dated it three times, twice with the May 9, 1926 date and once, near the lower margin, November 29, 1929. Blind-embossed in the lower left portion of the image with the name of the Richmond, Virginia photographer Faris & Dementi, a company established in 1924 and still operating.

 

Byrd began his career as an aviator in the U.S. Navy and his experience led him to a command position in the Donald B. MacMillan Arctic expedition of 1924. On May 9, 1926, Byrd and Floyd Bennett took off from the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen and flew over the North Pole, in a flight of nearly 14 hours. For their exploits, the two men were awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor. Byrd decided to further pursue his interest in polar exploration. Financial support from John D. Rockefeller and Edsel Ford allowed Byrd to set up a base camp on the Ross Ice Shelf in 1928. Regular flights were made to chart the geography of Antarctica and, on November 28, 1929, Byrd and his companions became the first to fly over the South Pole. The success of this expedition led to a more ambitious one from 1933-1935, the purpose of which was to further map and claim territory around the pole. In 1934, Byrd set up camp 120 miles from his Ross Ice Shelf base, and lived alone for five months in a hut. His near-fatal exploits are recorded in his memorable book Alone. Byrd continued to serve in the U.S. Navy, commanding operations in the Antarctic and is said to have contributed more to geography than any other Antarctic explorer, (A History of Polar Expedition, Mountfield).

 

Greenway, a notable autograph collector, was the minister of the All Souls Church in Brooklyn for nearly 40 years and a leader in opposing the unification of the Universalist and Unitarian denominations.

 

With hardly noticeable pinholes in the four corners. Minimal dust staining and near fine.

 

 

Item #313

$900


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