Martin Johnson (1884 - 1937) and his wife Osa Johnson (1894 - 1953) were adventurers, big game hunters and documentary film-makers from Kansas.
They made numerous trips to Africa filming and photographing the people and wildlife. They accompanied the George Eastman safari and in 1925, met the Duke and Duchess of York while on their safari in Kenya.
The Martin And Osa Johnson Safari Museum is in Chanute, Kansas.
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Safari: A Saga Of The African Blue by Martin Johnson (1928) is illustrated with photographs by the author Martin Johnson. A story of adventure and exploration in Africa, with much information about the extraordinary wildlife, including elephants, lions, rhinos and gorillas.
Camera Trails In Africa: A Photographer's Safari In British East Africa by Martin Johnson (1924). The Johnsons went to British East Africa in the 1920's to photograph wild animals, many of which were disappearing with the advances of civilization. They ended up falling in love with the country and did not want to return to the United States.
Through The South Seas With Jack London by Martin Johnson (1913) is an account of his trip with author Jack London aboard London's ketch "The Snark" to Hawaii, Samoa and Fiji and their encounters with natives and cannibals. Johnson signed on as a cook, but later became London's companion on their two-year voyage.
Over African Jungles: The Record Of A Glorious Adventure Over The Big Game Country Of Africa 60,000 Miles By Airplane by Martin Johnson (1935) tells the story of the greatest adventure of the famous explorer and his wife - their flight over Africa's big game country in two specially equipped amphibian planes.
Cannibal-Land: Adventures With A Camera In The New Hebrides by Martin Johnson (1922) finds the Johnsons exploring in the unknown parts of the New Hebrides in search of veritable cannibals, finding them and photographing them.
Lion: African Adventure With the King Of The Beasts by Martin Johnson (1929) is a companion book to 'Safari: A Saga Of The African Blue'. The Johnsons went into Tanganyika with a supporting party of native porters to live for many months with lions. They established camp in a valley where lions were seen daily, planted a garden and built a photographic laboratory. Adventure, fun, narrow escapes and the finest photographs ever made by Martin Johnson.
Filmed between 1924 and 1927, the movie contains highlights of the Johnson's second trip to Africa and their efforts to film an authentic record of the life of the lion. The movie captures an array of animals and features extensive footage of elephants and rhinos in Kenya, plus lions in the Serengeti. Primarily filmed while on foot safaris using a tripod, the numerous close encounters and actual animal charges speak of the Johnsons courage and determination to make a thrilling and interesting movie. Click here to buy the Simba (The King Of Beasts) 86 minute DVD from Amazon.
Congorilla: Adventures With Pygmies And Gorillas In Africa by Martin Johnson (1931) is a chronicle of Martin and Osa Johnson's time studying the gorillas and pygmies of central Africa.
The first sound movie made entirely in Africa, Congorilla chronicles the Johnson's third African trip. In the movie, Martin and Osa revisit familiar territory in Kenya and Tanzania before moving on to Uganda and the Congo basin. Along the way they film thousands of flamingoes at Lake Nakuru, migrating wildebeest and zebra in the Serengeti and charging rhino in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya. Filming from a small boat on the Nile in Uganda, the Johnsons and their film crew recorded exciting encounters with large crocodiles and hippos. The latter part of the film is devoted to the seven months they spent in the Ituri Forest with the Mbuti peoples. They capture village life despite the high humidity which caused batteries to corrode and mildew to form on camera cases.
Danger Trails In Africa by Martin Johnson (1935) is a 'Whitman Big Little Book' publication featuring the adventures of Martin Johnson and his wife Osa in Africa during the 1920s and 1930s. A 'Big Little Book' is a small, compact book designed with captioned illustrations opposite each page of text.
I Married Adventure: The Lives Of Martin And Osa Johnson by Osa Johnson (1940) are the exciting memoirs of Mrs Martin Johnson who, with her husband, were among the first to make films of unexplored parts of Africa and the South Pacific.
Four Years In Paradise by Osa Johnson (1941) is the exciting story of a devoted couple's adventures in the last and greatest stronghold of Africa's vanishing wild life.
Bride In The Solomons by Osa Johnson (1944) is a study of the indigenous people and social customs of the Solomon Islands, with a special emphasis on cannibalism.
Last Adventure: The Martin Johnsons In Borneo by Osa Johnson (1966) is an account of the Martin Johnson expedition into Borneo in the 1930's with the aim of filming native tribes.
Pantaloons: Adventures Of A Baby Elephant by Osa Johnson (1941) is a true story about a family of elephants written for children.
Jungle Babies by Osa Johnson (1930) is for children about the offspring of African animals as she observed them in the wild.
Osa Johnson's Jungle Friends by Osa Johnson (1939) tells the stories of her adventures and experiences while making friends with a number of the jungle wild creatures. it includes the story of Pantaloons, the day old baby elephant that became a seasoned traveller in 'Osa's Ark' along with four baby cheetahs, a big anteater and many other animals.
Tarnish: The True Story Of A Lion Cub by Osa Johnson (1944) is another book for children about the life of a lion cub Osa Johnson found in a cave, raising him until he joined a wild pride.
Snowball: Adventures Of A Young Gorilla by Osa Johnson (1942) is the life story of "one of the most lovable and mischievous of Osa Johnson's jungle pets".
They Married Adventure: The Wandering Lives Of Martin And Osa Johnson by Pascal James and Eleanor Imperato (1999). Martin and Osa Johnson thrilled American audiences of the 1920s and '30s with their remarkable movies of far-away places, exotic peoples and the dramatic spectacle of Asian and African wildlife. Their own lives were as exciting as the movies they made, here revealed in this fascinating and intimate portrait of an intrepid couple.
All Pascal James Imperato books
Page Updated: Oct 2020