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"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

Interpretive Essays

Browse Photos and Film

Expedition Source Material

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expedition source material

Annotations to the Journal of Matthew Stirling

Date of Note/View Entry Keyword(s) Note

April 9, 1926 Ern

Stirling explains in his commentary to the film footage (See Film Selections #1 & 2) that the plane was named the "Ern" as a result of that word’s use in crossword puzzles – which “were quite a vogue at the time”; adding that the word is a “technical name for the sea eagle.” His commentary adds that the plane was a modified World War I French Breguet bomber that had been fitted with a 400 horse power Liberty Motor. Its wheels had been replaced with plywood pontoons. For more information on this plane, see "Contact: Tales from the era when the air age met the stone age" by Tony Reichhardt (Air & Space Smithsonian v. 19 no. 4 pp. 58-65, Oct./Nov. 2004).

 

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