The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
C4737 Mineral specimen, pumice, collected from the summit of Mount Erebus in 1908 during Sir Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, Antarctica, 1907-1909. Click to enlarge.

Pumice collected from Mt Erebus during Shackleton’s British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9

Made 1909-1911

This pumice was collected in March 1908 on Shackleton’s British Antarctic Expedition (BAE) by the first explorers to climb Antarctica’s Mt Erebus, including Australian geologists Edgeworth David and Douglas Mawson. Erebus, an active volcano, was covered in snow and belching steam and sulphur dioxide. At its peak the scientists measured the boiling point of water, which falls as altitude increases. They calculated the height of Erebus from that temperature, and from the air pressure indicated by ...

Summary

Object No.

C4737

Object Statement

Mineral specimen, pumice, collected from the summit of Mount Erebus in 1908 during Sir Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, Antarctica, 1907-1909

Physical Description

Mineral specimen, pumice, collected from the summit of Mount Erebus in 1908 during Sir Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, Antarctica, 1907-1909

This rock specimen is made up of a collection of small fragments of pumice and other minerals. The fragments are various colours of grey and brown and are both smooth and rough in texture. The specimen is housed in a glass, screw top specimen jar. As the sample cannot be physically numbered the base of the jar has been numbered, near the rim, in black artline pen with a base coat of paraloid B72 in acetone and a top coat of paraloid B67 in ethanol.

[From] Geological specimens from Antarctic Regions - by Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909:- Pumice (7); from summit of Erebus; Locality: Mt Erebus (SB).

Production

Made

1909-1911

History

Notes

This sample was probably collected by Australian geologists Douglas Mawson and Edgeworth David, who climed Mt Erebus as members of Shackleton's expedition.

The Erebus accent party took six days to climb the volcano and one to descend it, enduring extreme temperatures, 'lava bombs' and billowing clouds of steam in the process. Considering the perils the explorers faced the party escaped relatively unharmed and all managed to make it to the summit except for Sir Phillip Brocklehurst who suffered frost-bitten toes on the fifth day of the expedition (his twenty first birthday) and ended up having one of his big toes amputated on return to the base.

The accent of Mount Erebus occurred before winter, after the members of the BAE had settled into the hut at Cape Royds which became their quarters over the long Antarctic winter. An excuse to test their equipment and resolve, the expedition was also noted by Shackleton to have had a scientific motivation "the observations of temperatures and wind currents at the summit of this great mountain would have an important bearing on the movements of the upper air, a meteorological problem as yet imperfectly understood? and apart from scientific considerations the ascent of a mountain over 13,000 feet in height, situated so far south, would be a matter of pleasurable excitement."

Source

Credit Line

Presented by Sir Ernest Shackleton through the University of Sydney, 1909

Acquisition Date

20 December 1909

Cite this Object

Harvard

Pumice collected from Mt Erebus during Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 12 December 2019, <https://ma.as/217430>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/217430 |title=Pumice collected from Mt Erebus during Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=12 December 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Collection Gallery 4 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

Know more about this object?

TELL US

Have a question about this object?

ASK US