Vilhjalmur Stefansson (Icelandic: Vilhjálmur Stefánsson) was born November 3, 1879 – died August 26, 1962. Vilhjalmur was a Canadian Arctic explorer and ethnologist. He was born at Gimli, Manitoba, Canada, of Icelandic descent. Under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, he and Dr. R. M. Anderson undertook the ethnological survey of the Central Arctic coasts of the shores of North America from 1908-12. He discovered a group of previously unknown Eskimos, the blond Eskimos, who had never before seen a white man in 1910. From 1913-16, for the Government of Canada, he took command of an expedition to explore the regions west of Parry Archipelago. Three ships, the Karluk, the Mary Sachs, and the Alaska were employed. His main ship, the Karluk, was beset in ice, crushed, and sunk on January 11, 1914, with the loss of some men who disappeared in making their way to Herald Island. Stefánsson abandoned the Karluk when it became stuck in the ice in August/September of 1913, leaving the crew with Captain Robert Bartlett of Newfoundland stranded on the frozen Arctic Ocean. Wrangel Island north of Siberia, where the eleven survivors of the twenty-two men on the Karluk had lived from January to September 1914. Stefansson had designs for forming an exploration company that would be geared towards individuals interested in touring the Arctic Island. His reputation was largely destroyed by this disaster and that of the Karluk. His discoveries included new land and the edge of the continental shelf. Stefansson’s journey and successes are among the marvels of polar exploration. He extended the discoveries of McClintock. From April, 1914 to June, 1915, he lived on the ice pack. Stefánsson continued his explorations, leaving from Herschel Island on August 23, 1915. Mr. Stefansson joined The Explorers Club (New York City) in 1908, four years after its founding. He later served as Club President twice: 1919-1922 and 1937-1939.Stefansson’s personal papers and collection of Arctic artifacts are maintained and available to the public at the Dartmouth College Library. Stefansson is frequently quoted as saying that “adventure is a sign of incompetence.”


Original Vilhjalmur Stefansson Autograph, Signed on cut paper. Hand written: Written for Frank Tricker by Vilhjalmur Stefansson April 18/34. Regular Price – $ 250.00 / Sale Price – $ 195.00.

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