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The Adventurers' Club of New York was an adventure-oriented private men's club founded in New York City in 1912 by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman, editor of the popular pulp magazine Adventure.[1][2] There were 34 members at the first meeting. In its second year, "Sinclair Lewis, Hoffman's assistant, was elected secretary and served three years."[3] Monthly dinner meetings, and weekly luncheons, were the primary functions of the club.

According to club secretary, newspaperman Fred J. Splitstone, the club's "One inviolate rule is that no publicity is ever given to the meetings. It makes men freer to talk."[4] It also makes the club difficult to research. However, soon after making those comments, in 1926, the club began publishing a monthly newsletter, The Adventurer. It ran at least until 1960. Its content primarily concerned club business, e.g. changes in leadership, new members. It occasionally ran profiles—and obituaries—of members. The main content was typically a description of the previous monthly dinner meeting. The speakers were described along with a summation of their speeches.

A weekly CBS radio show, Gold Seal Associates, featuring members of the club describing the most exciting moment of their lives, was inaugurated on June 13, 1930. Major C. E. Russell was the inaugural speaker.[5]

The club was one of at least two such clubs in New York. The other club was the Ends of the Earth Club, which included Mark Twain as a member.

The club appears to have faded out in the 1970s.[citation needed]

Contents

ChaptersEdit

Spin-off clubs were founded in Chicago, Los Angeles and Honolulu. The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles remains active,[6] as does the Adventurers' Club of Honolulu (founded in 1954).[7]

MembersEdit

In 1925, the club had 185 total members, of whom 140 were active.[8] The Adventurers' Golden Jubilee (1964) listed 195 active members and 68 associate members, for a total of 263.[9]

Among the members of the Adventurers' Club of New York were many prominent citizens, travelers, writers, artists and explorers, including the following.[10] Members who attended the first meeting on December 7, 1912, are indicated with "[O]," for original.[11]

SpeakersEdit

Notable speakers before the club include the following:

PresidentsEdit

# From To President[16]
1 1912 1917 Henry Collins Walsh
2 1918 1918 Robert Welles Ritchie
3 1919 1925 William E. Aughinbaugh
4 1926 1927 Wesley H. Wallace
5 1928 1928 Norman Schwarzkopf
6 1929 1930 George W. B. Witten
7 1930 1930 Fred J. Willock
8 1930 1930 George W. B. Witten
9 1931 1931 Wyndham Phinny
10 1932 1932 C. E. Russell
11 1933 1933 John J. Lyons[17]
12 1934 1935 Tex O'Rourke
13 1936 1937 Raymond C. Schindler
14 1939 1939 Henry M. Kalvin
15 1940 1940 Lewis N. Cotlow
16 1941 1942 Charles R. Haffenden
17 1943 1944 John McElraevy, Jr.
18 1945 1945 James B. Pond
19 1946 1946 Charles R. Haffenden
20 1947 1947 Raymond C. Schindler
21 1948 1948 Harry Bruno
22 1949 1949 Harry C. M. Reed
23 1950 1950 Arthur M. Menken
24 1951 1951 G. Theon Wright
25 1952 1952 Norris L. Bowen
26 1952 1952 Russell B. Aitken
27 1953 1953 Paulus P. Powell
28 1954 1954 Edward L. Bill
29 1955 1955 G. Theon Wright
30 1956 1956 John S. Davis, Jr.
31 1957 1957 Raymond E. Buck
32 1958 1958 Bernt Balchen
33 1959 1959 Patrick B. Fay
34 1960 1960 Ansel E. Talbert
35 1961 1961 A. Fred Nielson
36 1962 1962 Carl von Hoffman
37 Frederick Houk Law (Emeritus)

Award winnersEdit

The club also awarded medals and honors. Recipients include:

Gold MedalEdit

Bronze MedalEdit

Life MembershipEdit

BooksEdit

Call to AdventureEdit

In 1935, Robert Spiers Benjamin edited an anthology Call to Adventure. Contributors were:[22]

The Adventurers' Golden JubileeEdit

In 1964, the club published The Adventurers' Golden Jubilee 1912–1962: A History of the Adventurers Club of New York.[23]

See alsoEdit

  • Explorers Club, an extant club of about the same age, also founded in New York, with a scientific mission.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.adventurersclub.org/information_about_the_club.php
  2. ^ "Arthur Hoffman, Editor, Teacher" (obituary). The New York Times, March 15, 1966.
  3. ^ "The Adventurers' Club." The Adventurer, January 1937. A history of the club. The Adventurer periodically printed an updated history of the club. Most of this information rolled over into The Adventurers' Golden Jubilee.
  4. ^ "The Adventurers." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 5, 1925.
  5. ^ "Exciting Adventure New Series' Basis." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 1, 1930.
  6. ^ http://www.adventurersclub.org/
  7. ^ Adventurers' Club of Honolulu current newsletter, March 2017.
  8. ^ "The Adventurers." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 5, 1925.
  9. ^ The Adventurers' Golden Jubilee, 1964. New York: The Adventurers' Club, Inc., 1965, 145-154.
  10. ^ Names were obtained from The Adventurers' Golden Jubilee, selected issues of The Adventurer, and newspaper articles. Some individuals were members for decades, while others joined the club but participated little. Activity frequently depended on the member's proximity to New York City.
  11. ^ "Hardy Spirits Organize." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 8, 1912.
  12. ^ "The Adventurers." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 5, 1925.
  13. ^ "Wits Used By Adventurer to Get Into Prison." Bellingham Herald, February 4, 1914.
  14. ^ A. E. Dingle. Letter dated December 1, 1936, in The Adventurer, December 1936.
  15. ^ "Boro Associations Hold Social Events." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 18, 1926. This was the "10th annual dinner." The anniversary may refer to the incorporation of the club, since the founding was in 1912.
  16. ^ The Adventurers' Golden Jubilee, 1964. New York: The Adventurers' Club, Inc., 1965, 139.
  17. ^ Probably the NY politician John J. Lyons.
  18. ^ Death in the Silent Places, by Peter Hathaway Capstick.
  19. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1964/11/19/justice-douglas-honored-by-the-adventurers-club.html
  20. ^ http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=nasm_A19750563000
  21. ^ "Solo Raft Voyage Cited for Honors." Omaha World Herald, October 28, 1954.
  22. ^ Call to Adventure. 1935
  23. ^ Adventurers Club of New York. (1965). The Adventurers' Golden Jubilee, 1964: A history of The Adventurers' Club of New York. New York: The Club