Image Source: Wikipedia

Robert E. Peary

Robert Edwin Peary Sr. (; May 6, 1856 – February 20, 1920) was an American explorer and United States Navy officer who made several expeditions to the Arctic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best known for claiming to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909.

Peary was born in Cresson, Pennsylvania, but following his father's death at a young age, was raised in Portland, Maine. He went to a prominent boarding school called Loomis Chaffe. He attended Bowdoin College, then joined the National Geodetic Survey as a draftsman. Peary enlisted in the navy in 1881, as a civil engineer. In 1885, he was made chief of surveying for the Nicaragua Canal (which was never built). Peary visited the Arctic for the first time in 1886, making an unsuccessful attempt to cross Greenland by dogsled. He returned in 1891 much better prepared, and by reaching Independence Fjord (in what is now known as Peary Land) proved conclusively that Greenland was an island. He was one of the first Arctic explorers to study Inuit survival techniques.

On his 1898–1902 expedition, Peary set a new "Farthest North" record by reaching Greenland's northernmost point, Cape Morris Jesup. Peary made two further expeditions to the Arctic, in 1905–1906 and in 1908–1909. During the latter, he claimed to have reached the North Pole. Peary received a number of awards from geographical societies during his lifetime, and in 1911 received the Thanks of Congress and was promoted to rear admiral. He served two terms as president of The Explorers Club and retired to Eagle Island.

Peary's claim to have reached the North Pole was widely debated in contemporary newspapers (along with a competing claim made by Frederick Cook), but eventually won widespread acceptance. In 1989, British explorer Wally Herbert concluded Peary did not reach the pole, although he may have been as close as 60 miles (97 km). His conclusions have been widely accepted, although disputed by some authorities.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 6th, 1856 (Cresson), Died February 20th, 1920 (Washington, D.C.)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1905 - 1910

Roles Represented in DAHR: speaker

Notes: Listed on disc labels as Commander Robert E. Peary.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor C-8528 12-in. 1/2/1910 The discovery of the North Pole Robert E. Peary Speech speaker  
Columbia 3846 10-in. 7/13/1905 Talk by Admiral Peary Robert E. Peary Talk speaker  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Peary, Robert E.," accessed July 29, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102090.

Peary, Robert E.. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102090.

"Peary, Robert E.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 29 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102090

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.