Friday, June 22, 2012

Polar Explores, Part Two

"Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr.USN (25 October 1888 – 11 March 1957) was a naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics. Aircraft flights, in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau. Byrd claimed that his expeditions had been the first to reach the North Pole and theSouth Pole by air. His South Pole claim is generally supported by a consensus of those who have examined the evidence. Byrd was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for heroism given by the United States."

The Byrd bookplate was originally engraved by E.D.French in 1899 for Admiral Byrd's father or grandfather.Admiral Byrd had electrotype copies made for his own use by the firm of Demsey and Carroll.

I have a number of Christmas cards sent out by famous people.
Admiral Byrd sent this one in 1929.

                                        Douglas Mawson

Mawson, Sir Douglas (1882–1958)

The biographical information below was extracted from this site:
"In November 1907 (Sir) Ernest Shackleton, leader of the British Antarctic Expedition, visited Adelaide on his way south. Mawson approached him with a view to making the round trip to Antarctica on the Nimrod. His idea was to see an existing continental ice-cap and to become acquainted with glaciation and its geological consequences. This interested him because in his South Australian studies he was 'face-to-face with a great accumulation of glacial sediments of Precambrian age, the greatest thing of the kind recorded anywhere in the world'. After consulting with David, who had agreed to join the expedition, Shackleton telegraphed: 'You are appointed Physicist for the duration of the expedition'. Mawson accepted, and so began his long association with the Antarctic.
Although he recognized that Shackleton's prime aim of reaching the South Pole was considered essential to financing the expedition, he would have liked more opportunity offered to the scientists. Nevertheless, the scientists' achievements proved to be considerable and Mawson had good opportunities for glaciological and geological investigations; he published significant accounts of his observations on the aurora and geomagnetism.
In March 1908 Mawson was one of the first party, led by David, to climb Mount Erebus. Next summer David (leader), A. F. Mackay and Mawson were the first to reach the vicinity of the South Magnetic Pole, manhauling their sledges 1260 miles (2028 km); Mawson was responsible for the magnetic observations and the excellent cartographic work. The return was difficult because of exhaustion and shortage of food. David, aged 50, suffered badly and at his request Mawson assumed leadership. The journey almost ended in disaster: having reached their main depot two days late and hearing a rocket distress signal fired from the Nimrod, Mawson, while rushing towards the ship, fell into a crevasse. Help from the ship was required for his rescue.
Shackleton's confidence in Mawson may be gauged from his instructions: should his own expedition to the South Pole not return in time, Mawson was to lead a search party. David said in public tribute: 'Mawson was the real leader who was the soul of our expedition to the Magnetic Pole. We really have in him an Australian Nansen, of infinite resource, splendid physique, astonishing indifference to frost'.
Mawson returned to Adelaide and his university post in 1909 but was still making reports on the expedition when his plans for further Antarctic work began to mature. Captain R. F. Scott was planning his second (1910-13) expedition and Mawson asked him for transport on the Terra Nova for himself and three others, to form an additional party of the expedition to be landed on the coast west of Cape Adare. Mawson expounded the potential scientific value of the proposed work but Scott was not persuaded. Instead he invited Mawson to join his South Pole sledging party. This did not interest Mawson, who was dedicated to scientific exploration. Mawson then approached Shackleton for help; he took over Mawson's plan as his own but failed to get adequate financial backing. Mawson waited until Scott had raised all the funds he could in Australia and New Zealand, and had sailed for Antarctica in 1910, before launching his own appeal for support of what was to be the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
With substantial private and government backing and a prodigious effort on Mawson's part in planning, organizing, recruiting personnel, and acquiring equipment and supplies the A.A.E., including Cecil Madigan, sailed in December 1911. Three bases were established: one at Macquarie Island which, apart from its scientific work, was to serve as a radio relay station; Main Base under Mawson at Commonwealth Bay (Scott having landed his second party at Cape Adare); and Western Base on the Shackleton Ice Shelf under Frank Wild. At each base, and in expeditions from them, major scientific investigation was pursued in geology, cartography, meteorology, aurora, geomagnetism and biology. Also, an extensive programme of marine science was carried out from the Aurora under Captain John King Davis.
At Commonwealth Bay building was largely completed by February 1912 and the scientific programme well established before winter set in. This included preparations for the several land expeditions of the following summer. Mawson took charge of the Far Eastern expedition, which included B. E. S. Ninnis and X. Mertz, but was to become the most extraordinary epic of lone survival. When 310 miles (499 km) out, Ninnis, with sledge and dog team, broke through the lid of a large crevasse and disappeared. With seriously depleted provisions Mawson and Mertz began their return, progressively using their dogs to supplement their food supply. It was not known then that the dogs' livers were very rich in Vitamin A and potentially toxic. After twenty-five days on the return journey, and the combined effects of hard physical exertion and starvation, this toxicity may have hastened Mertz's death. Mawson, himself seriously debilitated, discarded everything that was not essential for survival, except his geological specimens and records of the journey. Using a pocket saw, he cut his sledge in half and dragged it unaided the last 100 miles (161 km), taking another thirty days to reach Main Base. As he approached he saw the Aurora on the horizon; she had come and gone. A small party had waited to search for him; they remained for another year. The scientific work at Main Base and Macquarie Island continued through 1913.
While recuperating, Mawson began writing his account of the expedition. The Home of the Blizzard (London, 1915), profusely illustrated by the magnificent photographs of Frank Hurley, is a classic of polar literature and described the first major scientific exploring venture by Australians beyond their shores.
Mawson was helped by other eminent scientists to analyse and report on the data collected; but so great was the task that publication of the A.A.E. Scientific Reports, in twenty-two volumes edited by him, was not completed until 1947. A.A.E. land parties had explored some 4000 miles (6437 km) in Adelie Land, King George V Land and Queen Mary Land. They outlined the geology of the country traversed and described the nature of the land and the coast between longitudes 90 degrees E and 155 degrees E and at Macquarie Island. They identified the characteristic feature of the Antarctic continental shelf: the bottom at first deepens on passing out from the shore, then shoals again before plunging to deep water beyond the edge of the shelf. New biological species, on land and at sea, were described. They recorded meteorological data simultaneously at the three bases; they maintained continuous geomagnetic field records at Commonwealth Bay for eighteen months and made further field observations to define more precisely the location of the Magnetic Pole; they systematically observed the aurora australis. The first to use radio in the Antarctic, they transmitted meteorological data to the weather bureau in Melbourne every day for two years from Macquarie Island and, during part of that time, from Commonwealth Bay also. The use of radio facilitated the accurate determination of longitude at Commonwealth Bay. It also enabled the transmission to Australia of Mawson's account of his tragic Far Eastern journey
As a result of his initiatives, the support of the Australian National Research Council, and the backing of the Australian government which resulted from a decision of the Imperial Conference of 1926, Mawson was invited to organize and lead the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition of 1929-30 and 1930-31. This expedition used the ship Discoveryand did not establish land bases. They made extensive geological and biological investigations at Iles Crozet, Iles Kerguelen, Heard Island and at many points along the 1550 miles (2494 km) of coastline of Antarctica between 43 degrees E and 179 degrees E longitude. They were greatly assisted by the use of a small aircraft. Much of the coast was mapped for the first time and it was shown to be continuous from the Ross Sea to Enderby Land and beyond. This work provided accurate geographic data that supported the Australian Antarctic Territory Acceptance Act of 1933. The Act came into force in 1936 and, by arrangement with the British government, established the Australian Antarctic Territory.
Mawson's interest in Antarctica continued after World War II when he promoted the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions; he was a member of the Australian Antarctic Executive Planning Committee until he died."

I will be back on Sunday July 1st. with part three. If you have any polar explorer bookplates in your collection please send scans so they can be included in the next installment

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Polar Explorers ,Part One

Bio of Adm. MacMillan from the Bowdoin Collection website:
Donald Baxter MacMillan was born November 10, 1874, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the younger son of Captain Neil MacMillan and Sarah Gardner MacMillan, a shipbuilder's daughter. After receiving his degree from Bowdoin in 1898, MacMillan served as principal of Levi Hall School in North Gorham, Maine (1898-1900). He later taught at Swarthmore Preparatory School in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania (1900-1903), and at Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts (1903-1908).
MacMillan's correspondence with Admiral Robert E. Peary (Bowdoin 1877) led to his becoming an assistant to the arctic explorer on his expedition to the North Pole (1908-09). An accident, however, prevented MacMillan from reaching the pole himself, a goal he never realized except by plane.
Over his lifetime MacMillan would make over thirty expeditions to the far North on the schooner Bowdoin, conducting important work in the fields of botany, ornithology, meteorology, and anthropology. Many of these trips he made with his wife, Miriam Look, whom he married in 1935. Together they led several crews of faculty and students (many from Bowdoin) on expeditions into the arctic between 1935and 1954.
In addition to his arctic expeditions, MacMillan lectured throughout the United States and wrote several books, including Four Years in the White North (1918), Etah and Beyond (1927), and How Peary Reached the Pole (1934). He also served in the U.S. Navy as Lieutenant (1918-1919), Commander (1941-1945), and Rear Admiral (1954); was Tallman Professor of Anthropology at Bowdoin (1932-1933); and was awarded the F.R.G.S. Special Congressional Medal in 1944. He received honorary degrees from Bowdoin (1918) and Boston University (1937) and was educated at Harvard from 1911-1913. He died on September 7, 1970.
Link to website:

"Adolphus Greely was the commanding officer of the doomed Lady Franklin Bay Expedition from 1881-1884. Born on March 27, 1844 in Newburyport, MA, he joined the United States Army at the age of 17 during the American Civil War. 
Adolphus Greely in Army uniform
The John Greely family
Adolphus Greely in Army uniform
In 1867, he joined the U.S. Signal Corps after being promoted to Lieutenant. In this capacity, he worked on the new telegraph network that was being implemented nationwide, and he developed a keen interest in weather systems.
In 1881, Greely volunteered to lead the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition team to the Arctic Circle. Greely had no previous command experience in extreme weather conditions. However, Greely was notorious for his rigid manner and emphasis on military discipline. Over the course of the three years that he and his team were left abandoned in the Arctic, Greely's strict command helped keep the expedition alive. It was not until the final six months of the mission, when rations had shrunk to nearly nothing, that order within the camp began to break down. After one man stole food, Greely ordered his execution to send a message to the others. By June 1884, when rescuers finally arrived, Greely and his six surviving crewmembers were on the verge of death, having survived that long by eating moss, candle wax and animal droppings.
Adolphus Greely after the expedition
The John Greely family
Adolphus Greely after the expedition

Upon his return to the United States in August 1884, Greely met with a mixed public reception. Rumors of cannibalism and inhumane treatment under his command tainted his image. In 1887, Greely was promoted to Chief Officer of the Signal Corps, where for 20 years he helped expand the weather notification service and laid telegraph cables from Alaska to Cuba. In 1906, he commanded the emergency relief response following the San Francisco earthquake. At the age of 64, he retired from military duty. On March 21, 1935, Greely received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his extensive career in public service. He died on October 20, 1935."

6/20/2012--Update- Kate Doordan Klavin sent me the following information:

Thanks, Lew, for the Arctic editions. I really enjoyed the stories and the very handsome bookplates. I am puzzled, however, by a reference in the 1909 newspaper clipping to Amos Bonsall being the only survivor of the Kane Expedition. In fact, there were quite a few survivors (including Kane himself). And, of course, most current intelligence debunks Cook's claim of reaching the Pole first. Or ever. Really looking forward to the next newsletter; Polar exploration is such a captivating subject. 

Sir Raymond Edward Priestley (20 July 1886 – 24 June 1974) was a British geologist and early Antarctic explorer..I currently have a duplicate of this bookplate for possible exchange.

John H.Roscoe

Stay tuned for part two.
 If you have any plates relating to polar explorers
please send scans to
 Bookplatemaven@hotmail .com
They will be added to the next posting.

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Wonders of The Internet

The wonders of the internet never cease to amaze me.
On April 14th I wrote about the Sand Hill Farm School bookplate  designed by Philip O.Palmstrom.
As a result of that posting Mary Palmstrom, the artist’s grand daughter contacted me and was kind enough to send a scan of her grand father's  bookplate along with some additional information.

"In the bookplate my grandfather used in his own books he has set himself against the White Mountains, one of his favorite places. He was from the Boston area and began working at the Profile Hotel, in the boat house, when he was in college. He Attended Mechanic Arts High School and then the Mass School of Art. Later in his career, he became an instructor of commercial art at MSA, For a brief period just before his death in 1945, he served as the interim President of the school. My dad says, that thanks to his skills as an artist my grandfather made a good living even though the country was in the great depression"

The photo of Philip O. Palstrom was taken around 1935 when is was working as an instructor at the Mass. School of Art.

In addition to commercial items like the book plates, P.O. Palmstrom created numerous illustrations for books, magazines and store brochures. One book that contains ink illustrations very similar to the
The Sandhill Farm- Life School Book plate, is The Story of F Company: 101st Regiment, U.S. Engineers: An Informal Narrative, a book published in 1924 by two of his fellow engineers and very good friends. In addition to ink, many of his book and magazine illustrations were done in water color or gauche"

                                                   Mystery Bookplate-Edith Heal by Owen
Earlier this week I received the bookplate shown below .It looks to be circa 1930 and is signed Owen.I found an author from the 1930's named Edith Heal. Perhaps this was her bookplate..
Can any one out there shed some light on the owner or the artist?


Here is an interesting bookplate I spotted in The Bookplateink blog

"The bookplate will accompany presentation copies of a work by Fr. Claude Boucher (a Canadian White Father who has lived in Malawi* since 1967 and founded the Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art in 1976) which offers the first book-length study of a traditional dance of Malawi: When Animals Sing and Spirits Dance: Gule Wamkulu: The Great Dance of the Chewa People of Malawi. It should be published on 4 August. 
In brief, the bookplate, which is Claude Boucher’s design, offers a literal illustration of a Chewa proverb, appropriate to thank those who have helped to fund the book. Malawian villagers support the roof of a traditional village hut by carrying it on their heads. They are helped by ancestral spirits (supernaturally elongated, pale, androgynous), who collaborate with the living in their work. God is depicted in the form of a mask with tribal scarification. Two of his aspects are suggested: Mphambe, the God of lightning; and Chiuta, the God of the rainbow, who serves to unite heaven and earth"

*Note from Lew Jaffe- Bookplates from Africa are not often seen.
Here is some information about Malawi.

Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. Wikipedia
CurrencyMalawian kwacha
Population14,900,841 (2010) World Bank
Official languageChewa, English
My next blog posting will be on Monday June 18th. See you then.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Bookplate Artist Profile/ Lisa Haderlie Baker

Note From Lew Jaffe
  I initiated contact with Lisa Haderlie Baker because I was impressed with the quality of her designs.. If you would like to see more of her artwork or contact her about designing a bookplate here is a link :

                                       Lisa Haderlie Baker, Illustrator and Bookplate Designer

I have worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for the last 40 years. My first bookplate for Stanford University was created for my parents in 2000.
My father worked at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, California, for over 50 years. After my mother’s death in 1998 he set up a memorial book fund at the Hopkins Library in both of their names, and he asked me if I could design a bookplate for the collection. In the mid-1960’s he had sailed for three months throughout the South Pacific aboard Te Vega, Stanford’s marine research vessel. Te Vega is an elegant two masted sloop, built in 1929, and has had many owners (and almost as many names) since Stanford sailed her through Micronesia and Polynesia in 1965, when my Dad was aboard as a professor and researcher. It was an incredible experience for a marine biologist, and he decided he would like an image of Te Vega under full sail on the bookplate I designed for him.

This was more challenging than it appears. Dad didn’t have any good photographs of the sailing ship from that era (this was before Wikipedia or the Internet, where now I can find lots of photographs of her). I had one grainy xerox of a black and white photo, and, a bit better, a pen and ink drawing I had done of her from the dock in Oahu in 1965, when I was fourteen years old!
Using these two images I drew a new pen and ink illustration on vellum of the ship in full sail, surrounded by a vintage border that has elements that evoke marine life (starfish and chitons, or maybe nudibranchs). The image is printed in navy blue on ivory stock. For the past twelve years it has been placed in books on marine science in the Hopkins library, bought every year through the Eugene C. and Aileen E. Haderlie Memorial Book Fund.
This of course was a labor of love for me, but it happily led to many more commissions from Stanford University Libraries. First, another book fund for the marine station, commissioned by a donor who liked the one of Te Vega, then through word of mouth and the recommendations of the library staff to many more bookplates for a variety of donors in many branches of the Stanford University Library system. I have worked on bookplates for topics as diverse as Asian studies, ancient Judaica, Polish literature, mineralogy, statistics, European history and the history of California, poetry, antique maps, physics, and mathematics.

To create the bookplates I have used photos and objects supplied by donors, created original pen and ink and watercolor illustrations, collected typography and borders from a variety of eras to use as needed, plus using Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator to create the final design.

Every bookplate project is fascinating for me. They are tiny artistic ventures covering a whole world of topics, interests, and personal history, and every one is a new adventure for me as the designer

For more information about this very capable artist follow this link:

On Sunday June 10th,  I  plan to write about the wonders of the Internet.
.See you then.