National Geographic : 1990 Jan
AT A G P AGAZ GEOGA HIC 'FREE ADVICE )NE READY ERALASKA. Alaska. This single word can reawaken dreams of legendary natural wonders, abundant wildlife, fighting gamefish and untold adventure. And there are thousands of words for Alaska: exciting, exhilarating, sensational... You'll find all of these words, as well as some words of friendly advice, in thefree 1990 Alaska Vacation Planner, the official visitors guide of the state of Alaska. To receive your free Vacation Planner today, write: Alaska Division of Tourism, Box E-539, Juneau, AK 99811. S K A Saving Rare Films of Arctic Explorers Each man joined Robert E. Peary on his efforts to reach the North Pole. Each went on to long ca reers exploring the Arctic himself. Each received the highest honor of the National Geographic Society, its Hubbard Medal. ACME PHOTO Capt. Robert A. Bartlett (above) and Comdr. Donald B. MacMillan also made significant films recording life in Arctic regions. The Library of Con gress and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, will together preserve and cata log those films. The museum holds 90,000 feet of images recorded on Bartlett's expedi tions from the 1920s to the 1940s. The Library of Congress will transfer the deteriorating, highly flammable ni trate film to safety-film stock, and the museum then will make video copies for scholarly and educational uses. The museum will help inventory the library's collection of film shot during MacMillan's journeys. Bartlett first went north with Peary in 1898, and he commanded Peary's supply ship Rooseveltin 1908-9 . He was awarded the Hubbard Medal in 1909, the same year that Peary was given the Society's Special Medal of Honor for discovery of the North Pole. Bartlett went on to explore the Arctic on his schooner, the Effie M. Morrissey, until his death in 1946. MacMillan joined Peary on his final polar expedition in 1909 and made 29 subsequent trips to the Arctic, the last in 1954. He was awarded the Hubbard Medal in 1953. The films of both explorers show the many changes in the cultures of native peoples in Greenland and elsewhere in the far north, according to Susan Kap lan, director of the Arctic Museum. Evoking the Past via Covered Bridges Few items in America's landscape evoke the nation's past more than a covered bridge. Brenda Kre keler, a geographer, became fascinat ed by covered bridges in her native Ohio and traveled to 14 states to track down hundreds of them. Her book, Covered Bridges Today, records the decline in their numbers. In the 1800s the United States had about 12,000 covered bridges, Krekeler says. Today there are about 800, and the number is dropping through neglect, damage caused by floods, even arson. Covering bridges protects them from the elements; exposed wooden bridges deteriorate in a few years. Newer construction materials and methods have made them obsolete. There are some 220 covered bridges SHAWNHENRY in Pennsylvania, more than in any oth er state. Parke County, Indiana, which hosts an annual covered-bridge festi val, has 33. The longest covered bridge in the U.S .- 460 feet-spans the Connecticut River, connecting Cor nish Township, New Hampshire, and Windsor, Vermont. An 1887 bridge near Cilleyville, New Hampshire, tilts because its builder angered his assis tants, who then cut some timbers short. Another New Hampshire bridge, at Ashuelot (below left), is an American Gothic masterpiece. And a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, bridge was car ried away in a 1972 flood. It floated around another covered bridge and came to rest on a road. It was disman tled and returned to its original loca tion, and Amish carpenters rebuilt it. BRETONLITTLEHALES A Collector's Death, a Collector's Tribute Dr. Edwin C. Buxbaum, author of Collector'sGuide to the National Geographic Magazine, died last summer in a Wilmington, Delaware, hospital at the age of 86. But before his death Dr. Buxbaum (above) received a touching letter from a Hungarian collector of the magazine who read about him in the March 1989 Presi dent's Page. "Your excellent book is a treasured piece of my small library," J6zsef Fuzesi wrote to Dr. Buxbaum. "It isn't too sweeping to say that it can be re garded as the collectors' bible." Fuzesi said that for him the magazine has had "a double educational value": "When I started to collect GEO GRAPHICS, I couldn't read the articles; I was fascinated only by the beautiful pictures. My keen interest in the con tents of the articles prompted me to learn English, and when I could read everything, new vistas opened up for me on the whole world."