like the pleasant things most women enjoy, even if I do wear breeches
and boots on an expedition, even sleep in them at times.... but I
powder my nose before going on deck, no matter how rough the sea
is." ~ Louise
Arner Boyd, know as the "Ice Woman," was born
in 1887 to a very wealthy family in San Rafael, California, near
San Francisco. In 1920, at age 33, both her parents died and
she inherited her family's fortune. She then spent the next several
years touring Europe, and when visiting the Arctic on a Norweigan
cruise liner in 1924, her interest in polar exploration was sparked.
In 1928, while she was chartering a Norweigen cruise liner, word
came that the great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was missing
on a rescue mission flight while searching for another missing
explorer. Louise immediately offered her services (and finances),
traveling nearly 10,000 miles in the region to help find Amundsen.
was never found and rescued, Louise was awarded the Chevalier
Cross of the Order of Saint Olav by the
Norwegian government. In 1931 Louise returned to the Arctic,
leading a scientific expedition to the fjord region of Greenland’s
east coast. There she studied glacial formations, photographing
plant and animal life on De Geer Glacier. Later this area she
explored was named after her – Louise Boyd Land.
an expedition sponsored by the American Geographic Society
in 1933 Louise studied glacial formations in the same area.
in 1937 and 1938 discovered and studied the submarine ridge
lying between Bear and Jan Mayen Islands. She also led another
expedition in 1941, financed by the US government. She there
studied effects of polar magnetism on radio communications.
The U.S. Army awarded her a 'Certificate of Appreciation'
work she performed in 1942 and 1943 as an adviser on military
strategy in the Arctic
Region of East Greenland (1935) and The Coast of Northeast
Greenland (1948), two books
by Boyd, describe her Greenland expeditions. In 1955, at
age 67, Louise was the first woman to fly over the North
she chartered a DC-4 aircraft for a 16-hour non-stop flight
over the region. This was the first privately financed,
non-commercial and non-military flight over the North Pole.
at the age 85 in San Francisco, California.