George Hubert Wilkins

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wilkins, George Hubert


Born Oct. 31, 1888, in Mount Bryan East, South Australia; died Dec. 1,1958, in Framingham, Mass. American polar explorer.

Wilkins took part as a photographer in V. Stefansson’s expedition in arctic Canada between 1913 and 1917. In 1920–21 and 1921–22 he joined two British expeditions to explore the antarctic. Later, in 1927 and 1928, he flew over the central arctic with C. Eielson, who served as pilot. Wilkins also made a series of flights over Western Antarctica in late 1928, during the summer of 1929, and in 1930. In 1931, after trying unsuccessfully to reach the north pole by traveling underneath the ice in the submarine Nautilus, Wilkins made his way through the ice to 81° 59’ N lat. From 1933 to 1939 he took part in L. Ellsworth’s expeditions on the shores of Antarctica. In 1937 and 1938 he also participated in the search for S. A. Levanevskii’s expedition, which disappeared in the central arctic in 1937 and 1938.

Named in honor of Wilkins are the ice shelf in Antarctica between Aleksandr I Land and Charcot Island and the gulf between the two Queen Elizabeth Islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.


Flying the Arctic. New York, 1928.
Under the North Pole. New York, 1931.


Laktionov, A. F. Severnyipolius, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1960.
Treshnikov, A. F. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Antarktidy. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Hubert Wilkins, a young Australian photographer, was seconded by the Gaumont Company to Vilhjalmur Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-16 as official photographer.
George Hubert Wilkins is only slightly better known in the United States where, as Sir Hubert Wilkins, he lived the latter part of his life.
He was knighted shortly afterwards by King George V of Great Britain, thereafter becoming known as Sir Hubert Wilkins.
Dwarfed by European giants of polar exploration, notably Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile, Bernt Balchen, Hubert Wilkins, and Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen, he was also indirectly overshadowed by Richard Byrd, the other American prominent in polar affairs of the 1920s and 1930s.
His expeditionary associates included Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile, and Sir Hubert Wilkins. Ellsworth authored four books and collaborated with Amundsen on The First Crossing of the Polar Sea.