National Geographic : 1963 Oct
(Continued from page 536) when they failed to act. It required the great est tact and diplomacy. Dr. Bell himself had suggested the nomi nation blank in the magazine. One day I wrote him that arrangements for it had been made with the printer, with the consent of my immediate superior, a very conservative Board member whom I shall call "Mr. X." Then I added, "I have this moment remem bered that the Board sat down on the idea most heavily two months ago, but I don't think I shall remind Mr. X of that fact." Our membership growth continued, and on September 15, 1899, in a letter to my mother, I was able to report financial improvement: "I had a talk with our treasurer yesterday. I've been maintaining that I was paying ex penses. He was a little skeptical. Well, he made out an estimate of expenses and re ceipts which showed a net gain of $400. Of course that's all nonsense for we are not yet making money, but we are paying expenses." By the end of the first year of my employ ment, I had more than doubled the Society's membership, raising it from 1,000 to 2,200. In the meantime I had not been neglecting my "second front"-improvementof the mag azine. Funds were so limited that I could not pay authors, let alone publish pictures on a major scale. But I could, and did, obtain nu merous articles of general rather than aca demic interest. Sometimes my father and Dr. Bell, both omnivorous readers, suggested timely topics. I also spent long hours polishing sentences. As I wrote Dr. Bell in a letter dated September 11, 1899, "I have been trying to get members and at the same time make the magazine readable and hence quotable, for that seems to guarantee the quickest and most immediate return." As the summer of '99 waned, I was able to increase the number of pages in the magazine and to step up the print order from 2,000 to 3,000. But in many ways I had to move slow ly and temper my wishes with those of the Board. The magazine then had a nominal Editor in Chief and no less than 12 Associate Editors, all unpaid and all members of the Board of Managers. Many of them, being 543 A birthday party for Mrs. William Howard Taft at "Wild Acres," our home near Wash ington, added this 1929 picture to the family album. Front row, from left: brother Edwin and his wife; Mrs. Taft; my cousin, Chief Justice Taft; Elsie and I. Behind Mrs. Taft stands Associate Justice Harlan F. Stone, who became Chief Justice twelve years later. Others include Senator Theodore Burton of Ohio, George E. Hamilton, Esq., and Con gressman Allen Towner Treadway of Massachusetts.