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98/55/1-3 Hood, snow helmet, cotton, made by Burberry, London, used by Charles Francis Laseron during Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), 1911-1913. Click to enlarge.

Hood used by Charles Laseron during Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

Made 1911-1913

This hood was used by Charles Francis Laseron (1887-1959) during Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914. Charles Laseron is an important figure in the history of the Powerhouse Museum (formerly the Sydney Technological Museum), serving a highly distinguished career as collector and Officer in Charge, Applied Arts, for the Museum from 1906 until 1929. In 1911 Laseron was given leave from the Museum to join the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1914, directed b...

Summary

Object No.

98/55/1-3

Object Statement

Hood, snow helmet, cotton, made by Burberry, London, used by Charles Francis Laseron during Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), 1911-1913

Physical Description

Hood, cotton, made by Burberry, London, used by Charles Francis Laseron during Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), 1911-1913

Hood, heavy khaki twill fabric, with cape. Reinforced around the face opening, so that it will fit snugly around the face, brim/visor projecting out and around the face, to protect the wearer.

The Burberry windproof helmet is made of heavy khaki twill fabric, with a cape. It is reinforced around the face opening with a copper wire. This was typical head ware for the heroic polar explorers. Mawson said in a lecture about Antarctic clothing in 1910 that the helmet was designed so that the by manipulating the funnel-shaped peak it was possible to the face by creating "dead" air around it. The helmet is reinforced around the face opening, so that it will fit snugly around the face. Underneath the helmet Laseron would have worm a thick woollen balaclava.

The use of fur around the face would have been more practical. The polar explorer, Scott, objected to wearing animal fur clothing except for their wolf skin mitts, deerskin boots and reindeer sleeping bags.

Production

Made

1911-1913

Notes

This cotton hood was made by the famous London clothing firm, Burberry. In 1879 Thomas Burberry invented a weatherproof cloth that could breathe and keep cool under the most inclement conditions. He went on to create the foundation of a business that went on to serve men everywhere, from the trenches of World War I to the windswept polar regions of Antarctica. Burberry fitted out the Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen polar expeditions as well as Mallory's 1924 ill-fated attempt on Everest.

In 1911 each member of Mawson's expedition were fitted out with 2 polar outfits at a cost of 100 pounds each which included this hood.

History

Used

1911-1913

Notes

This 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.

REFS:

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

Cite this Object

Harvard

Hood used by Charles Laseron during Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition. 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 January 2020, <https://ma.as/163577>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/163577 |title=Hood used by Charles Laseron during Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition. |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 January 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Collection Gallery 4 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

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