Toronto. What does a magazine and your favourite telephone company have in common? Alexander Graham Bell, that’s what, In 1880, Bell founded the Bell Telephone Company in the states and here in Toronto followed by the Bell System which was a powerful monopoly through most of the last century. Up here the company quickly moved its headquarters to Beaver Hall Hill in Montreal and in the 1950s when I joined it was called The Bell Telephone Company of Canada.
Just a few years after Bell Telephone was founded, in 1888, Bell was one of the founders of the magazine and the National Geographic Society.. I remember in the 1960s that every used book store had stacks of old National Geographic magazines.
The magazines were of interest to camera and photo collectors for two reasons: Old magazine carried advertisements for the German cameras like those made by Leitz and Zeiss showing how explorers used these wonderful mechanical marvels in all kinds of inclement weather conditions; and each issue had many historic photographs showing all parts of the world. Back issues dutifully recorded time as history unfolded. In the mid last century the maps were a welcome addition to any private library. In time a magnificent book of maps was published called the National Geographic Atlas of the World.
The Globe and Mail noted the first issue of the National Geographic was produced on September 22, 1888 in its MOMENT IN TIME column which usually appears on page 2 of the first section (A2). And 130 years later in 2018 the magazine and society continue on.