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125 Years of National Geographic: The Ultimate Coffee Table Book

Imagine 125 years of the best travel photography in one giant collection. This is it

Sri Lanka, 1995

In 1957, before Photoshop and filters and Instagrammable pictures of your pet ferret twerking (LIKE!), there were simply photographers who took snaps. Like this one, from B. Anthony Stewart taken off shore from Manhattan in that year for National Geographic magazine.

The photograph of the Mayflower II, a replica of the original 17th-century Pilgrim ship, entering New York harbour has not been touched up.  Nor is the US navy airship a photo shopped addition, but represented part of the welcoming flotilla. On the day, that grand plan turned to farce as the ship, which had travelled across the Atlantic Ocean entirely under canvas, was back winded by a passing helicopter and had to be towed to her berth. Dems the brakes.

A plethora of equally awe-inspiring images and the stories behind them are collected in a three volume series celebrating 125 years of National Geographic’s work, a quick flick through which will make all those city skyline snaps you took on your phone seem a little lame by comparison. Sorry about that.

National Geographic: Around The World in 125 Years (Taschen) is out now