A Postal History Gallery of Related Events


First Under the Ice

A discarded navy submarine was used in a 1931 experiment to test its ability to sail under the ice. The age of the submarine did not permit a successful test, but the theory led to later cruises under the ice by nuclear submarines. This cover originated in the Falkland Islands during the Wilkins studies of Graham Land and carried to the new expedition. An extensive amount of philatelic mail was accepted by the expedition.

" . . . I have no idea as to the value of such "covers" today . . . "

"Unfortunately -- or should I say stupidly -- I have paid little attention to the matter of 'covers' before or since the Nautilus Submarine Expedition in 1931 and on which I carried letters of value to that expedition of some $15,000. I have no idea as to the value of such 'covers' today, but frequently I get one from a subscriber who wants me to re-autograph it. (An autograph on the original was available at a cost of $1.00)."


A Modern Dirigible in the Arctic


The GRAF ZEPPELIN, with proven commercial capabilities, dropped mail to the icebreaker MALYGUIN at Hooker Island in Franz Josef Islands. After cancellation on board the MALYGUIN on July 27, 1931, the mail was returned to the Zeppelin for delivery on its return home.


Unable to Reach Archangel


Special stamps were issued in 1932 for use on a flight planned to link Archangel and Franz Josef Land. The aircraft were unable to reach Archangel and the mail was transfered to an icebreaker for delivery to Franz Josef Land. After completing its work, the icebreaker MALYGUIN carried the mail back to Archangel.

The cards did not travel by air, but it was an example of the fragile nature of aircraft in 1932.


(Exhibition pieces courtesy of George Hall)