<p>Admiral Robert E. Peary searches the horizon for land during his third attempt to reach the North Pole in 1909. The successful trip made Peary the first person to reach the region.</p>

Third Time’s a Charm

Admiral Robert E. Peary searches the horizon for land during his third attempt to reach the North Pole in 1909. The successful trip made Peary the first person to reach the region.

Robert E. Peary, National Geographic

These pictures made photographic history

From a close-up of a spider to the first underwater color photos, these pioneering pictures capture the spirit of exploration.

There’s nothing like a photo of a “first.”

A first can be a discovery, like the first trip to the North Pole. It can be a technological advancement, like the first successful aerial color photograph. Or, it can be a combination of both—like the highest vertical photo for its time, captured from the first helium balloon to reach the stratosphere.

Here, from our archives, are those and other pioneering photos.

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