The Photographic Archive of Roald Amundsen's Icy Expedition


The Heroic Age of Antarctic Expedition was an era of scientific and geographical progress as international efforts were made. About 17 major expeditions were launched from 10 countries, and one of them was led by Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer of the polar regions. Moreover, he was also the first voyager to explore the North Pole, and is the first person to have visited both regions.

Amundsen embarked to Antarctica in 1910 and he was the first to reach the South Pole on December 14, 1911. The expedition was partof a race against British voyager Robert Scott, who also had the same mission. The vessel Fram was used, which was the only ship then to take in the harshest conditions of the polar region.

He used skis and dog sleds for transportation in the icy mass of land. He had several teams to accompany him, but there was a lot of internal conflict due to the extemeties of the tasks under the climate. But what made him successful was his careful preparation, good equipment and clothing, understanding of the dogs, skis and sleds that made the majority of his voyage smooth. He wrote in The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the 'Fram,' 1910–12:

"I may say that this is the greatest factor—the way in which the expedition is equipped—the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order—luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck."

The photographic archive of this historic moment was a collaborative effort of Amundsen's crewmen.

Images are from the public domain.

2018-07-29 #culture #documentary-photography #vintage-photography

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One Comment

  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Great! An important detail: his success in Antarctica was thanks to his adoption of the Inuit's methods (dogs and sledges) and clothes. While Brits chose to use donkeys (which feet sank in the snow and very soon froze to death).

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