Tuesday, October 30, 2012

At Home in a Frozen World

After the glimpse of exploration at the South Pole, conducted by Robert Falcon Scott in this post, here's another sighting of cold regions, bringing us to the North Pole with Fridtjof Nansen.
Author, explorer and scientist, Fridtjof Nansen

Another two-volume set of books generously donated to the Museum, Nansen’s journals were published in 1897, just a year after the completion of a journey with 12 crew members aboard the FRAM, a ship built especially to resist the crush of ice floes and icebergs. Volumes 1 and 2 are entitled: “Farthest North The Voyage and Exploration of the ‘Fram’ 1893-1896 and the Fifteen Months’ Sledge Expedition”.

The set of books donated are full of illustrations, and many are photographic. However, Nansen’s own illustrations and his colored drawings appear as well. The image above is a drawing of a sledging expedition. His talent for rendering the cold landscape might have grown from earlier biological studies (see article in Wikipedia relating the man and his life).

sledging expedition: is similar to sleighing... and refers to travel, rather than recreation, on a conveyance described in the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, 1996, as "1. a carriage mounted on runners instead of wheels and used for traveling over snow or ice, a sleigh." The Dictionary says that the word may have originated in the coastal areas of Northern Europe, specifically the Netherlands and Germany.

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