Story posted April 14, 2009
The Pole at last! Polar pioneer Admiral Robert E. Peary returned to the North Pole on April 6, 2009.
That was exactly 100 years ago to the day that Peary, Matthew Henson, and Inughuit Ootah, Seeglo, Ooqueah and Egingwah stood at the northernmost place on earth.
If Peary were moving a bit stiffly, it wasn't from age or the cold. This time, Peary is a fur parka-clothed doll from The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College and his journey to 90 degrees north Latitude should put to rest any question of whether Peary reached the North Pole!
Peary doll-carrying alumni braved the elements on April 6, 2009, to bring attention to the centennial of Peary's historic expedition to the TODAY show's six million viewers.
Like Peary, the doll was not alone. He was traveling under the care of a talented team of adventurers and guides who are part of PolarExplorers, an organization that plans and guides polar expeditions. He must have been quite pleased, for also with him was Robert Peary Stafford, Admiral Peary's great-grandson.
And like Peary, the doll traveled with the benefit of cutting edge technology. One hundred years ago Peary sailed north on a ship of his design and proceeded over the sea ice by dog sledge. The 2009 party flew by helicopter to within striking distance of the Pole and then skied the remaining few kilometers. Peary would have been pleased, for he became quite interested in flight and its applications.
The doll and Stafford were part of a team of 21 adventurers who gathered for an eight-day program to experience the Arctic and celebrate the Peary-Henson North Pole centennial.
Peary dolls began exploring the world a year ago. The dolls' companions send the Arctic Museum photographs of the little guy, and they are posted on the museum's Web site. The doll's latest adventure results from a collaborative relationship between Annie Aggens of PolarExplorers and Susan A. Kaplan, director of the Arctic Museum.
PolarExplorers is a polar guiding company that helps individuals fulfill their dreams of traveling to the North or South Pole, or exploring other exotic destinations in the high Arctic or Antarctic. Read more about PolarExplorers.
The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center encourages the understanding of the cultures and natural history of Arctic and Subarctic regions.
It sponsors educational, research and outreach programs that focus on northern peoples and environments; past and present. Learn more about museum programs.
The Peary doll is available in the Arctic Museum's gift shop and sells for $16. Proceeds support Museum outreach initiatives. More about the Peary doll here.