Telling the story of Antarctica through 100 objects

Grotto in a berg, Terra Nova in distance Taylor and Wright (interior), Antarctica, 5th January 1911. British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913. (Photo by Herbert Ponting/Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images)

Herbert Ponting/Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images

THE first documented crossing of the Antarctic circle was made on 17 January 1773 by James Cook on the HMS Resolution. Now, 250 years later, Jean de Pomereu and Daniella McCahey are marking its anniversary in Antarctica: A history in 100 objects, a book that tells the story of the continent via 100 photos and artefacts from around the world.

The main image is an iconic photograph taken from a grotto in an iceberg in 1911 by Herbert Ponting (pictured below). Ponting was the first professional photographer to travel to Antarctica, after being invited by Robert Falcon Scott to join his ill-fated expedition. The ship is the Terra Nova and the men are geologist Thomas Griffith Taylor and meteorologist Charles Wright.

Herbert Ponting and telephoto apparatus, Antarctica, 1912. British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913. (Photo by Herbert Ponting/Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images)

Herbert Ponting in Antarctica in 1910

Herbert Ponting/Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images

The Dark Sector Lab with the South Pole Telescope on left and BICEP3 on the right. South Pole Telescope and BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiments at the United States? Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Shaun O’Boyle

Pictured above are the South Pole Telescope and BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The telescope helped to capture the first image of a supermassive black hole in 2019.

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L: Vestfold Museums: R: United States Navy History and Heritage Command

Leather goggles to protect against snow blindness, made during Roald Amundsen’s 1910-1912 Antarctic expedition, are shown above left. Pictured to the right of them are mittens knitted by Edith “Jackie” Ronne during an expedition in 1946-48. Ronne was one of the first two women to winter in Antarctica as part of a geographical expedition.

Ernest Gourdon and Paul Pl?neau sharing a bottle of Mumm champagne on 14/15 July 1904, Jean-Baptiste Charcot?s birthday. Photo by Ernest Gourdon. ? Courtesy of G. H. Mumm & Cie, Reims, France

G. H. Mumm & Cie

The  image above shows Ernest Gourdon and Paul Pléneau sharing a bottle of champagne in July 1904. This was intended to promote Mumm Cordon Rouge, since the Mumm family was a sponsor of the trip.

North Dakota eXperimental-1 (NDX-1) spacesuit, 2011.

Pablo de León/University of North Dakota

A spacesuit tested in Antarctica in 2011 for possible use on Mars. (pictured above).

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Sebastian Copeland

A humpback whale skeleton (pictured above) reconstructed by conservationist and film-maker Jacques Cousteau on King George Island in 1972-73, to raise awareness of whaling.

Anemometer used during Jean-Baptiste Charcot?s Pourquoi-Pas? expedition, 1908?10. ? Fr?d?ric Perin, M?t?o France, Saint-Mand?, France

Frédéric Perin/Météo France

An anemometer from a 1908-10 expedition.

Edmund Hillary on a New Zealand $5 note, 1999?2015.

Pictured above is a New Zealand $5 note commemorating Edmund Hillary, whose team was the first to reach the South Pole using overland vehicles, in 1958.

Kunyu Wanguo Quantu (Map of the Myriad Countries of the World), 1602. Found in the Collection of Nanjing Museum. Artist Ricci, Matteo (1552-1610). (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The 1602 Kunyu Wanguo Quantu map from China, (pictured above) featuring a vast “Terra Australis” with the inscription “Few have reached these southern regions. So the things are not explored yet”.

Coryphaenoides lecointei, fish specimen collected on 15 March 1899 during Adrien de Gerlache?s Belgian Antarctic Expedition 1897?99.

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Coryphaenoides lecointei, a fish specimen collected in the Antarctic on 15 March 1899 (pictured above).


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