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Ellsworth, Lincoln, 1880-1951



  • Existence: 1880 - 1951


Lincoln Ellsworth was born on May 12, 1880, in Chicago, Illinois. Early adventures led him to Peru, the Yucatan, and Death Valley in pursuit of scientific knowledge in the fields of geology and biology. In 1925, his father James, a wealthy coal man, spent 100,000 dollars to fund Roald Amundson's attempt to fly across the North Pole by sea plane. Lincoln was the navigator. Although their planes were forced down 136 miles from the Pole and the explorers spent 30 days trapped on the surface, their expedition marked the first penetration of the Arctic by air. A second attempt in 1926 proved more successful. In the airship "Norge," designed by Italian Umberto Nobile, they flew from Spitzbergen to Teller, Alaska, dropping the flags of Italy, Norway and the United States on the North Pole. Ellsworth was again attracted to the Arctic in 1931, and attempted an underwater expedition with Sir Hubert Wilkins in the submarine "Nautilus." The trip was unsuccessful but it was an important model for later submarine ventures in the Arctic. The same year, Ellsworth flew on the Graf Zeppelin Arctic flight. By 1934, Ellsworth's interests had turned to the Antarctic and he made two unsuccessful attempts at transpolar flight in 1934. In 1935, his 23,000 mile flight was successful and he flew over land never before seen by man. He claimed 350,000 square miles for the US and proved that the Antarctic was a single great continent. Lincoln Ellsworth died in May 26, 1951.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lincoln Ellsworth papers

Identifier: Mss-63
Stefansson Mss-63
Date(s): 1920 to 1952

Lincoln Ellsworth (1880-1951), polar explorer. Consist of correspondence, articles, photo prints, biographical materials and clippings relating to his career as an Arctic and Antarctic explorer.

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