Status: Indexed


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Our expedition sailed for Wrangell Island In September, 1921,
because we thought the world to be at the dawn of a revolution in trans-
portation ideas similar to that initiated by Copernicus and Columbus. When
the nations of Europen discovered four hundred years ago that the earth could
be sailed around from East to West, they found it necessary to modify not
only their intellectual concepts but also their diplomacy, their foreign
policy and their commercial endeavors. It appeared to us that a similar,
if less conspicuous, change would come when the nations realized that ships
of the air can sail around the earth from north to south, and that coun-
tries which had been far from each other as measured from east to west were
about to become neighbors across the northern sea.

On a Mercator's map the Arctic looks like an area of
vast extent, located between continents on the south and nothingness on the
north. But on a map which has the equator for circumference and the North
for center, the Arctic looks like a small hub from which the land masses
radiate like the spokes of a great wheel. It may be said that on a spherical
world any point is central if we choose to consider it so. That is specious
reasoning, because we inhabit the land and not the sea. It is possible to
determine the center of distribution of the land masses. While this does
not coincide with the Arctic, it does fall so near it that the validity of
our figure remains undisturbed. The Arctic does hold a position analogous
to that of the hub as related to the rest of a wheel.

There must have been a time, before navigation began,

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