National Geographic : 1963 Oct
First successful aerial color photo graphs published used the new Finlay process. They were made in 1930 by my son Melville, who started working with cameras at age 11. Flying in U. S. dirigi bles to avoid the vibration of airplanes, he captured unique views of the Statue of Liberty and the U. S. Capitol. Red-green-and-blue checkerboard un der the microscope, the Finlay screen had 175 lines to the inch. Its increased speed permitted color aerials for the first time. far as to predict in print that "people will tire of photographic reproduction, and those mag azines will find most favor which lead in orig inal art." This same editor once told me that he-and the public!-considered our halftone photoengravings "vulgar" and preferred steel engravings costing $100 a plate. Our half tones, made by the Levy process, now univer sal, cost us $7 to $8 for a full-page picture. I rejected the conservative view, and it was like striking gold in my own backyard when I found Government agencies would lend me plates from their publications. I illustrated numerous articles in this way. For example, plates from the U. S. Bureau of Education illustrated my article on "Reindeer in Alaska" in the April, 1903, issue. Sometimes, if I had suitable photographs and enough money, I contracted for photoen gravings. A popular feature of 1903, Dr. Bell's article on "The Tetrahedral Principle in Kite Structure," was accompanied by many photo graphs. A later article by him, "Aerial Loco motion" (January, 1907), proved even more popular. These papers, incidentally, marked 564 the beginning of the GEOGRAPHIC'S long and authoritative coverage of aviation. Your Society's much-traveled flag was born in this period. Elsie Grosvenor designed it for the 1903 Ziegler Polar Expedition. We both wanted an emblem that could be instantly recognized, and she chose the now-familiar stripes of blue, brown, and green-for sky, earth, and sea-with "National Geographic Society" in large capital letters. Society Acquires a Headquarters Late in 1903 the Society moved into a handsome new headquarters given it by the family of Gardiner Greene Hubbard-an ex pression of confidence in the future. Today the structure appears modest and small; we use it as our library. Sixty years ago, however, it seemed like the Taj Mahal, and it gave a picture of affluence hardly warranted by the Society's circumstances. By the end of 1904 we had 3,662 members, not enough for good financial health. I resolved to take some cal culated risks in the new year 1905, knowing they would make us or break us.