125 Years of National Geographic

Hitting the Quasquicentennial mark, this iconic magazine will not go quietly into the night.
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Jun 26, 2014 | By Brandon Workman

Last fall, National Geographic celebrated its 125th year of existence as a magazine. Over the years the magazine has published more than 1,500 volumes that have taken us through wars, technological breakthroughs, and other world changing events. Its stories and its pictures have inspired a sense of wonder, fear, adventure, and made us all feel a little more human and more connected.  

In its early days, well before the advent of commercial aviation, television, or the Internet, traveling to far corners of the earth to see new places and experience exotic cultures was a dream realized by only a scant few. National Geographic offered a window into those worlds for those who would otherwise never see them.  

But the world is smaller than ever. Today, airports, television, and the Internet have made the world accessible – be it digitally or physically – in a way previously unimagined. 

Thousands of travel sites and billions of traveler-taken photos have covered nearly every square mile of the earth. Want to see the Australian Whitsundays and learn something about them? Google it and there’s probably an entire web site dedicated to the islands. 

It’s easy to assume National Geographic will soon become passé, going the way of many newspapers that couldn’t keep up with the changing times. 

But an iconic brand with a team of award-winning photographers and journalists backed by 125 years of rich history does not go quietly into the night. So long as the magazine stays true to its roots – bringing thought provoking journalism on cutting edge issues alongside iconic photos (like this one) – its future promises to be as rich as its 125-year legacy. 

Images ©: 1. HUH; 2. Orsolya Haarberg; 3. Tariq Sawyer; 4, 13. James L. Stanfield; 5. Donald McLeish; 6. David Doubilet; 7. Christopher Zimmer; 8. Thomas J. Abercrombie; 9. M. Rosenfeld; 10. Michael Nichols; 11. O. Louis Mazzatenta; 12. National Geographic; 14. Ted Spiegel; 15. Jonathan Blair; 16. Barry Bishop; 17. Kip Ross