NGS - Some Facts and Fiction

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The mission statement was clear from the beginning: "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge" - Vol. 1 #1 October 1888

Fiction 1888

"Alexander Graham Bell organized the National Geographic Society" While he was an original member (one of 165 listed in Vol.1 #1), son-in-law to the Founder (Gardiner Green Hubbard), and an interested scientific mind, he did not organize the Society.  Hubbard and five others signed the invitation sent out in Jan 1888 to attend the founding meeting.  Of the 33 who attended,  Bell was not one of them.  (see the Jan 1988 issue)  


Bell was, however, the single most important person involved after Hubbard's passing. He rescued the Society and made the magazine the success that it became. Much is due to his influence and in his cooperation with Gilbert H. Grosvenor (his son-in-law) whom he was able to get installed as managing editor of the lagging magazine. (see Sept. 1988)


The first map supplement  was Oct., 1889. It was the Asheville District map and was a US Geologic Survey Map.  (see the map section)



The first Pictorial Supplement was "Wrangell Mtn." in the Nov. 1903 issue.

Fiction "The National Geographic Society is the most profitable publishing empire in the world."  

The National Geographic Society is a non-profit organization and the largest and most successful scientific educational organization in the world.  It's receipts that are in excess of expenses go into a deferred capital fund which finances things like the new Headquarters building (cash expense of $35 Million) and exploration.


The best way to remove and re-insert a magazine in a bookcase or slipcover is to slide the two adjacent issues out part way.  They mark the place and form a protective "guide in" for the issue being replaced.
Fiction The best way to store and protect older issues is in the original paper mailer it came in.  Issues found stored "as unopened" are the most valuable of any.


Clear Mylar or acid free paper are the type materials which will not deteriorate older paper collectibles. It is best to store magazines and any mailer they came in seperatly. Use extreme caution when inserting any issues into even ample sized envelopes as damage can result from "scuffing" fragile spines or cover edges. Avoid excessively tight "baggies" or comic book bags.
Fiction The practice of binding issues, so popular in early collecting, is responsible for the largest number of high quality and the most valuable sets of National Geographics found.


Almost all bound sets of NG's are without the covers, advertisements, and maps. This can result in devaluation of as much as 90% as compared to fine single copy sets of the same years.  While good bound sets are useful for content, they tend to have cover differences over a long run of years, could be missing pages, maps, ads, and the delightful covers.  All collectors prize single issue copies and the spines and covers are the single most important factor in grading. When maps were included in a bound set, they were re-folded (to fit into the trimmed issues) which is far from the quality of a map taken carefully from a single issue.
Fiction It's always best to store maps and supplements with the issue to keep track of them and to have them available when using the issue.


Maps and supplements cause "bulging" of an issue which results in permanent distortion of the "mint" issue.  The only exception to this is in early issues where (generally thinner) maps were "tipped in" (glued in a small corner spot) to the front inside of issues.  It is best when a collector desires to keep a tipped in supplement with the issue which avoids the damage caused by removing the glue spot. One should allow ample storage space for such thicker issue.


If all the National Geographic issues stored across the nation were brought to California, there would be serious risk of fault line fracture. This could cause a large portion of the State to sink into the Pacific Ocean.

These bound single articles are a real find.. a great collectible.

Click on Pic to Enlarge   

NonCollectible.jpg (65536 bytes) (many great magazines were sacrificed for these school aids which were popular in many school libraries).


1988 10.5 MIL SEPT-1988 PG.289          
1977 9756312 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 399          
Oct-63 3500000 OCT 1963 PG. 585          
'1967 5607457 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 351          
'1957 2178040 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 351          
Dec-56 2144704 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 305          
May-56 2134123 57 NG & SOCIETY PG 156          
Dec-53 2091503 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 305   GHG RETIRES -(MID 54)  GORCE TAKES OVER
'1949 1831588 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 261          
'1946 1246938 SAME AS 1930          
'1939 1093578 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 219          
May-35 1008694 1935 INDEX PG. 14          
'1933 882498 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 202          
'1932 1034046 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 202          
'1931 1202621 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 202          
'1930 1246983 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 175          
'1929 1212173 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 175          
'1921 647341 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 162          
1920 713208 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 135          
1919 668174 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 135          
'Oct-17 625000 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 135          
1915 424000 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 133          
1914 337446 MAR 1915 PG. 320 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 133 (337000        
Apr-13 289180 APRIL 1913 PG. 468-70   ARTICLE ALSO STATES 285K AND 300K 
1913 234284 MAR 1915 PG. 320 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 133 (234000        
Jul-13 225000 NG ADV. AD IN BACK          
1912 160565 FEB. 1913 PG. 252          
1911 102051 FEB. 1913 PG. 252          
1910 74018 FEB. 1913 PG. 252          
1909 53333 FEB. 1913 PG. 252          
1908 38698 FEB. 1913 PG. 252          
1907 31272 FEB. 1913 PG. 252          
1906 19237 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 121          
1905 11479 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 95          
DEC. 1905 10000 DEC 1905 PG. 586          
1904 3662 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 95          
1903 2000 JAN 1913 PG. 126   NOT EOY?-CAPTION    
1902       end of  1900 ( BRYAN incorrectly? reports on PG. 49)
DEC. 1901 2661 FEB. 1902 PG. 80   2570 when GHG got ed job - Bryan - PG 297
1900       2200 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 36  
1899 1400 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 36?   1400 100 yrs. BRYAN PG. 36  
1898     10)  1600        
1898 1000 1935 INDEX PG. XVII 1) 1500 1140      
1897     1) 1400        
1896     2) 1200+        
5-31-1895 1178 VOL. VI #9          
APR 1889 210 VI - No 4 PG. 165   JAMES STEVENSON DIED = 209 (PG. 166)
0CT 1888 205 ALL LISTED ON PG.  94-8          
ORIGINAL 165 1935 INDEX PG. XVI          



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