Lincoln Ellsworth

From Ohio History Central
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Lincoln Ellsworth was an important explorer during the 1920s and 1930s.

Ellsworth was born on May 12, 1880, in Chicago, Illinois. He spent part of his youth in Hudson, Ohio, where his father participated in the coal industry. As an adult, Ellsworth became an explorer, focusing his energies on the North and South Poles. In 1925, Ellsworth and Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole, attempted to travel to the North Pole. They used two airplanes in their attempt, but they fell 150 miles short of their final destination.

In 1926, the two men launched a second attempt to reach the North Pole. They departed from Spitsbergen, Norway in the Norge, a dirigible, which was piloted by Italian Umberto Nobile. The Norge crossed the North Pole on May 12. The men continued across the North Pole, and eventually they landed in Teller, Alaska. The total flight was 3,393 miles in length. Unfortunately for Ellsworth and Amundsen, Richard E. Byrd and his crew had flown across the North Pole on May 9, making Byrd the first man to reach the North Pole.

During the 1930s, Ellsworth focused his efforts on Antarctica. Between 1933 and 1939, he made four separate trips to this continent. In 1935, he discovered the Ellsworth Mountains. Lake Ellsworth and Mt. Ellsworth, both located on Antarctica, were also named in his honor.

Ellsworth died on May 26, 1951. Like many Ohioans before him, Ellsworth was a trailblazer, seeking to understand the unknown.

See Also


  1. Crouch, Tom D. The Giant Leap: A Chronology of Ohio Aerospace Events and Personalities, 1815-1969. Columbus: The Ohio Historical Society, 1971.