polar


Pronunciation key

( pōlẽr )

po•lar

adj.

[ML. polaris < L. polus; see POLE].

  1. Connected with or in the vicinity of the North or South Poles.
  2. Pertaining to poles or a pole.
  3. Containing polarity.
  4. Central or pivotal.
  5. Characterized by two opposite extremes, nature or directions.
  6. Serving for guidance, like a earth pole or polestar.
  7. Measured from a pole or reference to, i.e., polar diameter or distance.
  8. Traveling in a polar orbit.

Polar Exploration

Arctic
Image credit: Arctic Grab
The Arctic and Arctic Ocean in relation to Canada, Europe and Russia

Polar exploration had its earliest beginning in the 16th century quest for a northern passage in an aim to locate Asia. Before 1576, there is no record of search for a passage around North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. The first known endeavor was commanded by Queen Elizabeth in that year to Sir Martin Frobisher to search for such a route to the Far East by way of the northwest but his mission was never accomplished. In 1845 Sir John Franklin may have reached the goal but his entire crew and himself disappeared and no certain knowledge of his accomplishments are known.

Richard Chancellor, Willem Barents, Henry Hudson and others searched for the elusive Northwest Passage but were repetitively blocked by ice. Sir Francis Drake, Captain Cook, and Captain George Vancouver searched for the Northwest Passage from perspective of the Pacific.

Antarctica remained the only continent unknown to the world in the early 19th century. However, in 1820 the Antarctic Peninsula was spotted by two seal hunters Nathaniel B. Palmer (United States) and Edward Bransfield (England).

William E. Parry attempted to reach the North Pole by sledge in 1827.

A U.S. Naval expedition commanded by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes sailed over 1500 miles along the coast of Antarctica in 1840. Wilkes evidenced land enough to provide evidence of the mass being a a continent, although a vast majority of its surface was covered in ice.

In 1893-1896 Fridtjof Nansen had hope that the currents would carry it to the pole, but his ship, the Fram became frozen in the sea ice. Nansen and Fredrik Hjalmar Johanson abandoned ship and struck out for the pole on foot. Ultimately they were rescued by Franz Josef Land.

These discoveries led to two groups of explorers who wished to reach the South Pole. One was led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and the second by Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the British Navy. The former's skill with sled dogs made it possible to reach the pole on December 14, 1911, several weeks before Scott. It was a short time after Scott and crew arrived at the pole, they were frozen to death.

Exploration of the Arctic, the opposite pole, had its beginning in the 1840's after the disappearance of an expedition commanded by the British explorer Sir John Franklin and 129 men who had journeyed to the Arctic in 1845 in search of the Northwest Passage. Following that event, many teams of men went to search in the Arctic region for Franklin and company. Their bodies were never found but the search parties journeyed farther west through the Arctic islands north of mainland Canada. During 1903-1906 Roald Amundsen completed sail through the Arctic islands on the ship Gjöa, reaching the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, Amundsen was the first to accomplish navigation of the Northwest Passage, an endeavor which explorers worldwide had tried to accomplish for several centuries. Sir Robert McClure was given a formal award for the discovery of the Northwest Passage while on a searching expedition (1850-1854) for the lost Sir John Franklin.

Roald Amundsen's Exploration of the Polar Region and Discovery of the Northwest Passage
Roald Amundsen's Exploration of the Polar Region and Discovery of the Northwest Passage

The Northeast Passage was finally sailed by Adolf Nordenskjöld from east to west in 1878-1879.

Hundreds of attempts to reach the North Pole was undertaken, inspired by discoveries in the North Pole. One party was led by an American explorer, Robert E. Peary, who reached the pole on April 6, 1909. His expedition team included Matthew A. Henson, an aide and four Eskimos. One week before Peary returned from the expedition, Frederick A. Cook, another American claimed that he too had reached the North Pole during April 1908, a year earlier. The dispute which erupted was never satisfactorily settled.
Peary and Henson are generally credited with having reached the North Pole. They also conducted a series of exploratory expeditions which lasted 11 years.

Arctic and Antarctic explorations began to become less dangerous after the airplane was invented. Two Americans Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett from Spitsbergen and flew directly over the North Pole in 1926. Byrd and Bernt Balchen, a Norwegian-American pilot flew over the South Pole in 1929.

Antarctica
Image credit: Mapping, Austrian Govt.
Antarctica and South Pole

The first expedition to completely cross overland on the continent of Antarctica was accomplished in 1957-1958. It was achieved under leadership of Sir Vivian E. Fuchs, a British geologist, an expedition which included equipment such as snow tractors to carry them across the frozen land. They drove a total of 2,158 miles and a total of 99 days to complete this feat. In 1958, the United States nuclear powered submarine Nautilus was the first to pass beneath the Arctic ice to the location of the North Pole.

References

  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • The American Peoples Encyclopedia ©1960
  • The World Book Encyclopedia ©1981
  • The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition ©1985
  • Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge ©1991
  • Further Reading

  • Exploration
  • expurgation


    Pronunciation key

    ( ek′spẽr-gāshən )

    ex•pur•ga•tion

    n.

    [L. expurgatio].

    1. Act of expurgating or being expurgated.

    References

  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • Further Reading

  • expurgate
  • expurgator
  • expurgatory
  • expressivity


    Pronunciation key

    ( ik′spres-ivi-tē )

    ex•pres•siv•i•ty

    n.

    1. Characteristic of being expressive.
    2. Genetics. Degree to which a specific gene affects the phenotype of a living organism.

    References

  • The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition ©1985
  • Further Reading

  • express
  • expressage
  • expressible
  • expression
  • expressionism
  • expressionist
  • expressionistic
  • expressionistically
  • expressionless
  • expressive
  • expressly
  • expressman
  • express rifle
  • express train
  • exposure


    Pronunciation key

    ( ik-spōzhẽr )

    ex•po•sure

    n.

    [< expose, after enclosure etc].

    1. In various senses, the act or instance of exposing or condition of being exposed, especially to natural elements.
    2. A position on a compass and climatic or weather conditions. For instance, a location of something in relation to natural elements like the sun and wind in relation to a house's location, such being western exposure.
    3. Abandonment without benefit of shelter or food.
    4. Photography.
      • Subjecting sensitized photographic film or plate to the action of actinic rays.
      • Sensitized surface or segment of a film or plate utilized to make one picture.
      • The amount of time and radiant energy needed to expose such a surface of the film or plate.

    References

  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition ©1985
  • expostulation


    Pronunciation key

    ( ik-spos′chə-lāshən )

    ex•pos•tu•la•tion

    n.

    [L. expostulatio].

    1. Remonstrance. Corrective protest. Expostulating.

    References

  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • Further Reading

  • expostulate
  • expostulator
  • expostulatory
  • exposition


    Pronunciation key

    ( ek′spə-zishən )

    ex•po•si•tion

    n.

    [ME. exposicioun; OFr. exposition; L. expositio < expositus pp. of exponere see EXPOUND].

    1. Presentation of facts, ideas, etc. Setting forth meaning and intention. A detailed explanation.
    2. Specific statement which aims to give information about more complex material. Writing or speaking that explains and distinguished from description, narration, argumentation.
    3. [< Fr.] Large public show or exhibition which often presented internationally in scope such as artistic or industrial developments.
    4. Theater. Segment of a play that is revealing about the theme or previous events leading up to it, and who the characters are, etc.
    5. Music. Opening section of a composition such as the sonata or fugue which introduce primary theme or themes.
    6. Obs. Act of exposing or being exposed.

    The first U.S. International Exposition was convened in 1853, in New York, in a small scale copy of London's Crystal Palace.
    Image credit: American People's Encyclopedia 1960
    The first U.S. International Exposition was convened in 1853, in New York, in a small scale copy of London's Crystal Palace.

    An exposition is a public display of natural or manufactured and commercial products that collectively are put in exhibition to advertise products of particular or varied localities. The concept of the exposition may be traced back to fairs held throughout various European nations during their early history. More modern development of the concept is generally credited to the French, who sponsored the first great commercial exhibition in Paris in 1798. However, before this, in 1756, the London Society of Arts sponsored a show of agricultural and other machinery. There was another small scale exhibition in 1791, sponsored in Prague.

    The Court of the Seven Seas, the Fountain of Western Waters and the Tower of the Sun were a significant part of The Golden Gate International exposition of 1939 at San Francisco
    Image credit: American People's Encyclopedia 1960
    The Court of the Seven Seas, the Fountain of Western Waters and the Tower of the Sun were a significant part of The Golden Gate International exposition of 1939 at San Francisco.

    Great international exhibitions began with the opening of the World's Fair in the Crystal Palaca, Hyde Park, London on May 1, 1851. The exhibition building was entirely constructed with glass and iron with exception to the flooring and joists. Over 6,170,000 individuals visited and the exhibition lasted 23 weeks.

    In 1855, the Paris International Exhibition was held. For the first time, international collections of pictures were a significant feature. The International Exhibition of Vienna in 1873, was the most important exposition that had yet been held, and the largest. Over 6,740,500 people visited over a period of six months. The International Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the first world's fair which involved art and industry to be held in the United States. The expo celebrated the 100th anniversary of American independence and made exhibition of the nation's growth of technology since the Declaration of Independence.

    The world's finest cattle, sheep and other livestock are exhibited at the International Livestock Exposition, held annually in Chicago, Illinois
    Image credit: International Live Stock Exposition
    The world's finest cattle, sheep and other livestock are exhibited at the International Livestock Exposition, held annually in Chicago, Illinois.

    In 1889, the Universal Exhibition was held in Paris and surpassed all of its predecessors, occupying a site of 173 acres with the Eiffel Tower as its primary attraction. The next grand scale exhibition was held in Chicago, Illinois, the World's Columbian Exposition and lasted from May 1-October 30, 1893. Its purpose was to commemorate the fourth centenary of the discovery of America. It was designed and planned under the supervision of Daniel H. Burnham and John W. Root. The expo had a significant architectural influence on public buildings. Its 150 buildings represented the work of many famed architects in America.

    The Century of Progress exposition was sponsored in the city of Chicago in 1933 and 1934. The general exhibits building is to the left. The cables were supported by the two towers for the famed sky ride.
    Image credit: UP
    The Century of Progress exposition was sponsored in the city of Chicago in 1933 and 1934. The general exhibits building is to the left. The cables were supported by the two towers for the famed sky ride.

    The decades following the Columbian exposition, almost every year, with exception of encompassing World Wars, witnessed one or more international exhibition. Among these was another exhibition in Paris, in 1900, and promoted by the French Republic and following by the very successful Glasgow Exhibition in 1901. The Pan-American Exposition which celebrated the progress of Western civilization during the 19th century was sponsored in Buffalo, New York in 1901. President McKinley was assassinated on September 6, 1901in the Temple of Music at that fair.

    In 1904, The Louisiana Purchase Exposition which celebrate the centenary of acquiring territory from France was sponsored in St. Louis, Missouri. The Jamestown Tercentenary Exposition was held from April 26 to November 30, 1907 at Hampton Roads, Virginia to commemorate the three hundred year anniversary of the first permanent colony of English-speaking people on the American continent. It included a fascinating marine exhibit including the most modern samples of sea powder from around the world. In 1910, The Brussels Exposition, Belgium. Another expedition was sponsored from April 30 to October 31, 1911 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the kingdom of Italy in Turin. It featured exhibits including art, science, and Italian technology and also included resources from around the world. In 1915, The Panama-Pacific Exposition which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean was sponsored in San Francisco, California. In 1916, The Panama National Exposition which also commemorates the discovery of the Pacific was sponsored in the city of Panama. The Brazilian Exposition celebrating its centennial anniversary for the independence of Brazil was sponsored in Rio De Janeiro from 1922-1923.

    The South Bank exhibition in London was one of the foremost sections of the Festival in Britain in 1951. The Dome of Discovery, left, displayed numerous scientific exhibits.
    Image credit: British Information Services
    The South Bank exhibition in London was one of the foremost sections of the Festival in Britain in 1951. The Dome of Discovery, left, displayed numerous scientific exhibits.

    A Century of Progress Exposition was sponsored in Chicago, Illinois between 1933-1934. It was hosted on reclaimed ground in downtown Chicago near the shore of Lake Michigan. 48,769,227 individuals visited the expedition during the two years of operation. Architecture constituted one of the radical transformations in design and lighting, the Hall of Science, an imposing building, accommodated 80,000 people and housed exhibits related to mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geology and medical science.

    The most significant foreign exposition that was sponsored during this time period was in 1937, the Paris International Exposition. The city played host to around 30 million people who had came from all over the world. More than 40 nations were represented among the exhibits. The New Trocadero and the Museum of Modern Art became permanent structures after the exposition closed.

    On February 15,1939 the Golden Gate Exposition opened in San Francisco, celebrating the completion of the Bridge. Exhibitions were sent by numerous foreign countries, and over twenty million dollars worth of some of the most renown paintings and sculptures was assembled for the exhibit of fine and decorative arts.

    In 1939-1940, The New York World's Fair was sponsored in Flushing, Long Island commemorating the 150th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration and establishment of the U.S. government under the Constitution. The exposition's theme was summed up in the motto, "The World of Tomorrow" and was symbolized by the Trylon, a three-sided and slender obelisk that stood 700 ft in height, and Perisphere, a hollow globe which towered at 18 stories high and diameter of a city block which contained a diorama of the city of the future.

    Architect Louis Sullivan was praised for his transportation building's functional design at the World's Columbian exposition of 1893.
    Image credit: Chicago Art Institute
    Architect Louis Sullivan was praised for his transportation building's functional design at the World's Columbian exposition of 1893.

    After WWII, international trade expos developed as a stimulus to foreign trade. In western Europe, numerous trade expos of significance were inaugurated on an annual basis. The first United States International Trade Fair was hosted in Chicago in 1950. The following year, marked the centennial of the World's Fair in 1851 which was held in London, the Festival of Britain was celebrated across the United Kingdom for the purpose of displaying to the world the cultural and scientific contributions of Great Britain to modern civilization. In 1955, The Ethiopian Silver Jubilee Fair was sponsored in Addis Ababa, commemorating the 25th year of Emperor Haile Selassie's reign.

    Annual expositions were also hosted through the world. Among the most significant of these were the International Live Stock Exposition, sponsored annually in Chicago, Illinois; The Canadian National Exposition; The Paris International Trade Fair. By 1956, all of these had been annual events for over half a century except during wartime.

    —ex•pos′i•tive (ik-spoz′i-tiv) adj. —ex•pos′i•tory (ik-spoz′i-tôr′ē, -tōr′ē) adj. —ex•pos′i•tor n.

    Also see Exhibition.

    References

  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • The New World Family Encyclopedia ©1955
  • The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition ©1985
  • Related Terms

  • expose
  • exposé
  • expositive
  • expositor
  • expository
  • Further Reading

  • Exposition (Definition)
  • Exposition (Definition)
  • Exposition (Definition)
  • Kentucky State Fair and Exposition
  • American Public Health Exposition
  • American Craft Exposition
  • Wisconsin State Exposition
  • Southeastern Wildlife Exposition
  • The World's Columbian Exposition
  • Natural History Museum: Exposition Park