NotesThis object was used by Charles Francis Laseron from 1911-1913 during Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Australia, 1911-1914.
Charles Francis Laseron (1887-1959) was born in Wisconsin, USA, and arrived in Australia with his parents in January 1891. His father, David, was an Episcopalian clergyman, and in 1896 he took charge of a parish at Lithgow, NSW. Charles received his early schooling at Lithgow but was later educated at St Andrew's Cathedral Choir School, Sydney.
Laseron trained in geology at Sydney Technical College and later lectured there. The Sydney Technological Museum engaged Laseron in 1906 as a collector of botanical and geological specimens. Laseron took leave from the Museum to take part in Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition, where he worked as taxidermist, biological collector, and general scientific assistant from 1911-1913. He was awarded the Polar medal for his work in the Antarctic and later published an account of his Antarctic experiences in 'South with Mawson' (1947).
On his return to Australia, Laseron joined the Australian Imperial Forces, and was wounded at the Gallipoli landing. He subsequently returned to Sydney in 1916, where he resumed work at the Sydney Technological Museum. He rose to secure the position of Officer-in-Charge of the Applied Art collection. In this capacity he wrote papers and collected a range of ceramic and porcelain artefacts and was instrumental in establishing the New South Wales Applied Art Trust. Laseron was forced to resign in 1929 after a long-running dispute with curator Arthur Penfold, who in 1927 launched a departmental inquiry into his position. Laseron later became a dealer and auctioneer and during World War II returned to the AIF where he became an Instructor in Map Reading and Topography with the Commonwealth Military Forces.
Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090677b.htm?hilite=laseron
Davison, Graeme and Kimberley Webber (eds), 'Yesterday's Tomorrow: The Powerhouse Museum and its Precursors 1880-2005', Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 2005
Laseron, Charles, 'South with Mawson: reminiscences of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition', Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1957