Boys practice kendo, a sport similar to fencing, in Japan in 1912. This color-tinted, black and white photo was captured by Eliza R. Scidmore, the first woman on National Geographic’s Board of Trustees.
Though National Geographic’s early days were mostly a boys’ club, the magazine did feature a number of women photographers.
One of the most notable was Eliza R. Scidmore, National Geographic’s first female writer and the first woman on the Board of Trustees. Scidmore knew the emperor and empress of Japan, and she contributed photos and stories about the country to the magazine—even introducing the word “tsunami” into English vernacular with an 1896 article. She also played a large role in bringing the famous Japanese cherry trees to Washington, D.C.
Here, from our archives, are photos by Scidmore and other pioneering women photographers from the first half of the 20th century.
8 From the Archive is a weekly selection culled from National Geographic's archive, and curated by Archivist Bill Bonner and Senior Photo Editor Jessie Wender.
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