The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

A History of Antarctic Exploration in 30 Objects

As we approached the departure date of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014, we worked with some of the leading museums, art galleries and libraries from around the world to bring you a short History of Antarctic Exploration in 30 Objects.

The items are just a taster of a vast subject but we hope they inspire in you a fascination for Antarctic exploration and perhaps a visit to the objects themselves.

 

  • Go-Pro Camera, Antarctica

    "Go Pro" video camera, used by Australian adventurers, James Castrission and Justin Jones, on their 'Crossing the Ice' Antarctic expedition, October 2011 - January 2012. The camera was designed and made by Sony Corporation, Japan, in 2011.

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  • Tim Jarvis Sled, Antarctica

    Modern Antarctic sledge used by explorers Tim Jarvis and Peter Treseder on their Operation Chillout Expedition to cross the Antarctic continent unsupported, in 1999.

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  • Tucker snow-cat, Antarctica

    Able the Tucker Snow-cat, one of seven vehicles used to make the first overland crossing of Antarctica as part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1957 - 58. Made in USA in 1954.

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  • Harpoon Gun, Grytviken, South Georgia

    Harpoon gun from the abandoned whale-catcher the Petrel at Grytviken on South Georgia. Built in Oslo in 1928.

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  • Byrd’s Methuselah, New Zealand

    Large bottle of champagne cracked open on 29 November 1928 to celebrate the safe return of Admiral Richard Byrd’s plane after the first flight over the South Geographic Pole.

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  • Wilkin’s Lockheed Vega, Deception Island

    Model of Lockhead Vega 1, used by the Wilkins-Hearst expedition on the first flight over Antarctica on November 16, 1928. This model constructed of wood and metal, was made by Iain Scott-Stevenson in 2002.

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  • Shackleton’s Gravestone, Grytviken, South Georgia

    Granite column marking the grave of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922) in Grytviken on South Georgia.

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  • Antarctic Motor Sledge, Ross Sea

    Motor sledge taken to Antarctica by the Ross Sea Party of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition, 1914-1917. Built by the Dispatch Motor Company, London, England. The tractor was retrieved from Cape Evans in 1957 and returned to New Zealand.

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  • The Endurance Crushed, Weddell Sea

    Photograph of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship the Endurance crushed in mid-sea by the pressure of the ice surrounding it. Image shot by Frank Hurley the official photographer of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, on 1 November 1915.

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  • Shirase Sword Katana, Sydney

    Samurai sword presented by the Japanese explorer Lieutenant Nobu Shirase to Professor Edgeworth David in gratitude for his assistance to the Japanese Antarctic Expedition in 1911. Made by Mutsu no Kami Kaneyasu between 1644 and 1648.

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  • Mawson’s half sled, Antarctica

    Lantern slide showing the cut-down sledge used by the explorer Sir Douglas Mawson on the last stage of his journey during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The image was captured by Frank Hurley at the end of Mawson’s gruelling trek (1913).

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  • Mawson’s Balaclava and Goggles, Antarctica

    Balaclava and goggles worn by the explorer Sir Douglas Mawson on his Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-14) to explore the little known Adelie Land region.

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  • Home of the Blizzard, Antarctica

    The silent film ‘Home of the Blizzard’ records part of Sir Douglas Mawson’s 1911-1914 scientific expedition to Antarctica. Produced and directed by the Australian photographer Frank Hurley.

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  • Anenometer, Antarctica

    Munroe Anemometer used for measuring wind speed. Used by Scott’s Northern Party in 1911, led by Victor Campbell. The instrument was recovered in 1973 from Cape Adare, where it had been abandoned by the six man team.

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  • Cpt Oates Sleeping Bag Cover, Antarctica

    Canvas bag used to store the eiderdown sleeping bag used by Captain Oates during the 1910-1913 British Antarctic Expedition, led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Oates reached the South Pole with his team mates only to discover the Norwegians had got there first.

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  • Emperor Penguin Egg, Antarctica

    Emperor penguin egg collected in 1911, on Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s final expedition to Antarctica. One of only three eggs collected during the harsh Antarctic winter by members of the Terra Nova expedition.

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  • Scott Statue, Christchurch

    Memorial to Robert Falcon Scott sculpted by his widow Kathleen Scott. This statue is a replica of the bronze figure erected in London. Carved in white marble, the figure was erected in Christchurch in 1917, and remembers Robert Falcon Scott and his four companions who died in March 1912, returning from the South Pole.

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  • Explorers at the South Pole, Antarctica

    Photograph of the successful Norwegian expedition at the South Pole, led by Roald Amundsen (1911). Taken by Olav Bjaaland and developed and printed by the E.W.Searle, Hobart. Black and white print measuring 7.6 x 12.6 cm.

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  • Fram, Oslo

    The Fram (1892) was the first ship to be built in Norway specially for polar research. Designed and built by Colin Archer for Fridtjof Nansen’s Arctic expedition, the ship was used in both the Arctic and Antarctic between 1893 and 1912. Constructed from iron and timber.

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  • Pumice, Mount Erebus

    Pumice collected from the summit of Mount Erebus, during Sir Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, Antarctica, 1909-1911

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  • Strut Folding Camera, Ross Island

    Strut folding camera (1904-1907), used by Leo Arthur Cotton on board the ‘Nimrod’ as part of Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1908.

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  • Nansen Stove, Antarctica

    Nansen stove used by sledging parties to heat food and water. Developed by the polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930). This example is from Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition 1910-13.

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  • Tin of Tea, Cape Adare

    An unopened tin of tea made by Tower Tea Limited, England, from the 1901-1904 British Antarctic Expedition led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

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  • Borchgrevink’s Sled, Hobart

    Antarctic sled used by the South Cross Expedition in 1898, led by Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevink. Norwegian made, the sled is constructed from wood, bamboo and fibre and measures 22 x 45 x 310 cm.

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  • Rossbank Observatory, Hobarton

    Rossbank Observatory, Hobarton painted by Thomas Bock (1790 - 1855) in 1842, oil on canvas.

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  • Weddell Seals Asleep, Weddell Sea

    Weddell Seals Asleep from ‘Polar Exploration’, a collection of cigarette cards issued by John Player & Sons. England, c. 1916.

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  • Scrimshaw, South Pacific

    Scrimshaw, a carved sperm whale tooth depicting a whaling scene. Early nineteenth century.

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  • Captain Cook’s Telescope, Pacific Ocean

    Telescope in timber case with hinged lid used by Captain James Cook on his Pacific voyages, 1760-1779. Measuring 87 cm. long, fully extended

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  • Tasman Map, Australasia

    Manuscript map detailing the routes of Abel Tasman’s voyages around the Indian and Pacific Oceans, 1644. Hand coloured on Japanese paper; measuring 73 x 95 cm.

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  • Bone Fishhook, Auckland Islands

    This Polynesian fishhook was found on Enderby Island amongst a small midden. The fishhook dates from the 14th century and provides the first evidence of pre-European arrival in the outlying subantarctic zone.

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