Historic Antarctic photos

An exhibition of historic Antarctic photographs opened at Canterbury museum in Christchurch today. Some of the photos were taken during Captain Scott’s journey to the South Pole 100 years ago while the other photos were of Shackleton’s expedition from 1914 to 1916. All these photos are part of the Queen’s collection. They were given to her grandfather, King George V. This exhibition will be at Canterbury museum until February next year.

Christchurch is the right place to show these photos because this is where both Scott and Shackleton started their journeys to the Antarctic. Christchurch has a strong link with the Antarctic today; USA, New Zealand and some other countries use Christchurch airport to fly their scientists south to the Antarctic. Christchurch also has an Antarctic centre near the airport and a historic Antarctic display in the museum. The exhibition will return to London in February.

All New Zealand children learn about Scott’s journey to the South Pole. He and his team wanted to be the first to reach the Pole but when they got there, they found a tent with the flag of Norway. The Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, had got there 35 days before. Scott and the four other men all died on their return journey.

Shackleton’s ship, The Endurance, with 28 men on board, was crushed by sea ice near the Antarctic, in the winter of 1915. The story of how they survived is shown in these amazing photos. Sadly, the photographer, Frank Hurley, had to destroy 400 of his negatives which were on glass plates and too heavy to carry to land. He kept 120 which are now part of the Queen’s collection.

The photos of Scott’s expedition were taken mostly by Herbert Ponting. Today, these are large, beautiful photographs showing wonderful scenery of icebergs and pictures of the men on this expedition. The quality of the photos is first class.

1. Does your country have a scientific base in the Antarctic?
2. What were cameras like 100 years ago? Both Ponting and Hurley also had movie cameras. What were they like/
3. Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton were explorers. Are there still unknown places for explorers to explore today?


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