SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Photographs > Collections > 00100

OCLC WorldCat Logo

Digital Horizons

Federal Depository Library Program

Photographs - Collections - 101-150 - #00100

Title: Carl Ben Eielson

Dates: 1922-1929

Collection Number: 00100

Quantity: 290 items

Abstract: Images of Carl Ben Eielson, a Detroit Arctic exploration plane, and a US Mail plane in Alaska in the 1920s.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Carl Ben Eielson Papers as a gift from Mrs. Elmer Osking, 1944; Beatrice Johnstone, 1932; Warren Clark, 1964; and Eric Sletten, 1976. These photographs were separated from the manuscript collection in 1983.

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights:  Copyrights of the Carl Ben Eielson Papers have been dedicated to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the author and publisher.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collections:
MSS 10052 Carl Ben Eielson
MSS 11218 Elmer Osking Family Film
00121 Hatton-Eielson Museum

Carl Benjamin Eielson was born on July 20, 1897 in Hatton, North Dakota. He attended the University of North Dakota from 1914 to 1916 and transferred to the University of Wisconsin to study law. He enlisted in the air service of the United States Army in January 1917, was made a second lieutenant, and mustered out in March 1919. Eielson was employed by the Farmer's Mercantile Company in Hatton, North Dakota from April 1919 to May 1920 and organized the Aero Club of Hatton, a stunt and passenger flying company, in the spring of 1920. After an airplane crash in Climax, Minnesota, Eielson decided to return to school and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in the spring of 1921 from the University of North Dakota.
In the fall of 1922 Eielson moved to Fairbanks, Alaska to work in the school system. He organized the Farthest North Aviation Club which carried passengers and medical supplies, and featured exhibition flying. Eielson contracted with the government to carry mail from Fairbanks to McGrath on an experimental basis He fulfilled the required ten trips but failed to receive another contract. Eielson re-enlisted in the United States Army and served as inspector of airplanes at Langley Field, Virginia.

Eielson was recommended to fly with George Wilkins on a flight from Alaska to Spitzbergen. The trip was planned for February 1926 but due to several mishaps the trip was cancelled. A second expedition was planned for February 1927. Several short flights over the Arctic were followed by a forced landing on an ice floe. Eielson and Wilkins walked eighteen days to reach Beechy Point where they were met and transported to Point Barrow. A third expedition was planned for April 1928. Eielson and Wilkins left Point Barrow, April 15, 1928 and landed at Green Harbor, Spitzbergen on April 21, 1928. They received worldwide recognition on their successful flight.
Eielson and Wilkins explored the Antarctic in November and December 1928. Their efforts resulted in the entire Antarctic area being remapped. Eielson, on his return, was summoned to Washington and presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross. On April 8, 1929, Eielson received the Harmon Trophy from President Hoover.

Eielson decided to return to Alaska in August 1929. He successfully merged several independent air companies into Alaskan Airways, Inc. and served as vice president and general manager of the new company. In November 1929, Eielson responded to a ship distress signal. He made one successful trip, rescuing six passengers and a cargo of furs. His second attempt ended in a crash with no survivors. Search parties from the United States, Canada, and Russia located the aircraft wreckage in January 1930. Carl Ben Eielson was buried in Hatton, North Dakota on March 26, 1930.

Ben by H.G. Wambheim, 1930.


00100-001            Airplane engine
00100- 002 – 005 Carl Eielson landing on snow covered field
00100-006            View through plane and fuselage
00100-007 – 009 Carl Ben Eielson landing on snow covered field
00100-010            Carl Ben Eielson plane seen through electric lines on poles
00100-011 – 023 Carl Ben Eielson landing on snow covered field
00100-024            ‘They’re Off’ leaving for Point Barrow
00100-025            Carl Ben Eielson plane approaching landing site
00100-026            Fokker plane
00100-027            Detroit Arctic exploration Fokker plane with group of people
00100-028            Carl Ben Eielson landing on snow covered field
00100-030 – 031 Detroit Arctic exploration Fokker plane with two men standing beside it
00100-045            Plane idling on runway
00100-046            Detroit Arctic exploration Fokker plane
00100-048            Spinning the prop on the Detroit Arctic exploration Fokker plane
00100-049            Detroit Arctic exploration Fokker plane
00100-051            Man on fuselage of Detroit Arctic exploration Fokker plane
00100-062            Three men an Detroit Arctic exploration Fokker plane
00100-064            Carl Ben Eielson landing on snow covered field. Cann Studio photo
00100-065            Alaska’s mail service yesterday and today
00100-066-09     Carl B. Eielson, crash and repair of the Detroit Fokker
00100-069 – 070 Carl Ben Eielson’s crash of the Detroit Arctic exploration Fokker plane
00100-077            Carl Ben Eielson US Mail plane crash
00100-078            Fairbanks crash
00100-081            Carl Ben Eielson working on plane
00100-083            Shipping Fokker wings on rail car
00100-090            Group pulling Fokker through mud
00100-091            Man seated on Fokker fuselage
00100-096-13     Alaska mountain and river scenes, aerial photos
00100-134-14     Animal photos from Alaska         
00100-143-14     Dog sleds and teams in Alaska   
00100-148-17     Snow structures, ships, towns  
00100-176-28     Members of expedition, Eskimos
00100-176-28     Dog sleds and teams in Alaska
00100-188            Woman in skin coat
00100-198            Family group photo
00100-201            Carl Ben Eielson
00100-204            Carl Ben Eielson color portrait
00100-205            Two men standing in front of plane
00100-210            Carl Ben Eielson and another man standing in front of plane
00100-221            Digging out runway for plane
00100-228            Three men standing in snow
00100-251            Carl Ben Eielson with child
00100-252            Carl Ben Eielson with crew
00100-253            Carl Ben Eielson with crew and children
00100-264            Carl Ben Eielson with Alaskan Fokker mail plane
00100-265            Carl Ben Eielson and woman in front of Fokker plane
00100-275            Carl Ben Eielson, camera man and another man in front of plane
00100-276            Carl Ben Eielson leaning against tire of Fokker plane, Fairbanks Alaska, Cann Studio photo
00100-278            Woman and man alongside plane
00100-282            Man with Akeley movie camera
00100-289            Carl Ben Eielson and another man by Detroit News plane

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We will also be closed on Christmas Eve this year.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666