In 1904 a group of men active in exploration met in New York City to form an organisation to unite explorers world-wide and to promote the work of exploration by every means in their power. The Explorers Club (EC) was incorporated on October 25 1905.
The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Varied membership levels exists to include all, however individuals who qualify for full membership are persons who carry out or assist in field science expeditions to study unknown or little known destinations or phenomena in order to gain knowledge for humankind. Evaluation for membership is carried out by a panel in New York.
With its headquarters in Manhattan, the EC has over 3000 members and 26 chapters in the US and around the world. Chapters serve as local contact points for explorers, scientists and students. Chapters hold dinners, lectures/seminars, organise field trips, publish newsletters and arrange educational events.
ANZEC is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of The Explorers Club – learn more.
Famous honorary members have included Theodore Roosevelt, John Glenn, Walter Cronkite, Prince Philip and Albert Prince of Monaco.
The Explorers Club membership is renowned for a series of “famous first” accomplishments including:
- First to the North Pole (1909) Robert Peary
- First to the South Pole (1911) Roald Amundsen
- First solo flight across the Atlantic (1927) Charles Lindbergh
- First to summit Mt Everest (1953) Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
- First to the deepest point in the ocean (1960) Don Walsh and Jacques Picard
- First to the moon’s surface (1969) Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins.
There are 202 numbered EC flags which are allotted to be carried on expeditions meeting certain scientific criteria. Examples include The Apollo missions, Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki and James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger. Records and notes from Flag Expeditions are collated and archived by the Club.