The 1920’s were an era of global expansion. The gasoline engine suddenly made the world a whole lot smaller. Through perfection of precision, man colonized and capitalized every square inch of the planet. This exploitation of the planet drew cartographers of all sorts into the fold, one such Thomas Griffith Taylor has an interesting story to tell.
British born, Taylor grew up in Serbia and went to school in Sydney and Cambridge, focusing on Geology. Taylor became of a fellow of the Royal Geological Society in London in 1909. While at Cambridge he developed friendships with fellow explorers Sir Raymond Priestly, Charles Wright, and and Frank Debenham – this friendship would eventually lead to the group being drafted by explorer Robert Falcon Scott for his Terra Nova Antarctic expedition.
Taylor was selected to be the leader of the successful geological team, that was responsible for much of the initial mapping of geological interpretations and geographically significant areas of Antarctica. Leading several expeditions into the interior of Antarctica, in November of 1911 lead another expedition in a race against Norwegian Roald Amundsen to the South Pole. Arriving five weeks late, Taylors team was stranded in ice with the supply ship Terra Nova unable to retrieve them. Waiting for a month before deciding to trek southward, they were finally spotted by the Terra Nova and rescued five months after their two and a half month journey started. Unknown to Taylor, Scott’s entire team perished in their parallel race to the South Pole.
Surviving the Terra Nova Expedition, Taylor went on to return to Australia and crafted several interesting maps of the interior, most interestingly is the map of Sheep.
Full size versions of the maps can be found here.