Lynn climbing the Matterhorn.
July 1, 2013 12:27 AM   Subscribe

"This is a story, a picture story, of two very lucky people before whom was spread out the greatest of treasures, the planet Earth. We traveled aboard a magic carpet, the one with the yellow borders, National Geographic magazine. During four decades we wandered over all the continents and left wakes across the seven seas."

The grandchild of Thomas J. and Lynn B. Abercrombie, National Geographic photographers, shares a photo album of his grandparents that is awe-inspiring.

From the deserts of Saudi Arabia to the jungles of Venezuela, from the white sands of the Fiji Islands to sailing the Baltic Sea, Tom's ingenuity and adaptability was demonstrated time and again. In our book, you can see the challenges Tom faced and his resourceful solutions.

Lynn, an accomplished photographer in her own right, traveled with her husband to many isolated and forbidding places. As a complement to Tom, Lynn's freelance contributions to the Geographic provided a feminine side to the story. Women and children felt more at ease being photographed by Lynn, and she was allowed to visit harems and other places off-limits to men.

Thomas J. Abercrombie was a senior staff writer and photographer for National Geographic, well known for his work on Middle Eastern countries.

During his tenure at the Geographic magazine, Abercrombie travelled to all seven continents, becoming the first staff photojournalist to travel to the South Pole in 1956 while providing photographs for Paul Siple's coverage of the first overwinter stay at the South Pole Station.

Other notable coverage includes his photographs of Jacques Cousteau and his crew aboard Cousteau's vessel the Calypso and the transit of the first white tiger from India to the United States. Abercrombie was the first Western journalist to cover the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in his article Beyond the Sands of Mecca, published 1966.
posted by lazaruslong (9 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
These are great pictures, looks like a fantastic life. For both of them. I particularly like this iconic one, and this whacky "selfie" taken on a rooftop.
posted by chavenet at 1:14 AM on July 1, 2013

This is grandparent privilege. Mine just drank and watched TV.
posted by thelonius at 1:38 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Warning: george bush picture within...
posted by Colonel Panic at 3:30 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thoughts as I browse through: "Wow, she's beautiful... and doesn't age. He's kinda dorky looking; a bit of a Billy Joel/Christie Brinkley match. He's gets better with age, but I wonder what it was about him that first... (gets to the collage shot) Oh, yeah: He was totally adorable. Definite catch."
posted by IAmBroom at 9:16 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

The equipment Tom took with him on assignment

This is why my pictures will never make it to National Geographic (among other reasons).
posted by TedW at 10:12 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

thank you, thank you, thank you! this is absolutely wonderful. i could only hope for such a life.

this album is truly inspiring and i'm grateful to you for sharing it.
posted by gkostolny at 3:42 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

His articles on the Hajj were pretty excellent. I have the one from when he went.

I felt genuine sorrow at his passing.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:00 PM on July 1, 2013

What a great set of pictures. My father made underwater camera cases just exactly like that, in the same period.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:25 PM on July 1, 2013

And here I sit, surfing the internet.
posted by SkinnerSan at 3:23 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

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