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2020-12-15 08:15:23
USRC BEAR
Photograph of USRCs Bear and Thomas Corwin in the Arctic ice
[c.1887]. Albumen print on paper, laid down on board, framed and glazed in black and silver frame engraved with folk-art embellishments. Size of print: 285 by 220mm Size of frame: 370 by 315mm. Print slightly faded with sepia hue. N.p. [Arctic Ocean], N.d. An attractively framed photographic print of probably America's best loved polar vessel, The Bear. Here pictured in the Arctic ice, with her companion ship The Thomas Corwin visible in the background. A Scotland-built dual steam-powered barquentine, The Bear had an exceptionally long and varied career, spanning 89 years (1874-1963), serving in both polar regions, and under the flags of three nations - USA, UK and Canada. Originally purposed as a sealing vessel, her 6 inch thick hulls made her an invaluably strong contender in the crush of pack ice, and she was purchased by the US government in 1884 to assist with the search for the lost Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, headed by Captain Adolphus Washington Greely. Failures of relief ships meant that this disastrous expedition had attempted to make their own way south from Ellesmere Island, and by the time they were discovered by Captain Schley's rescue fleet of the USS Thetis, Alert & Bear, all but six members were dead. They had endured awful hardships including frostbite, starvation and cannibalism. Greely executed one member of the crew for repeatedly stealing food. At the point of The Bear's career at which this photograph was taken, she was serving the United States Revenue Cutter Service (predecessor of the US Coastguard) under the captaincy of the monumentally charism … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Maggs Bros. Ltd ABA, ILAB, PBFA, BA [London, United Kingdom]
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