Bear Feeding Cubs, 1969
Antarctica, Penetration of the Continent 1897-1928: routes of early explorers at sea and on land.
1914: Sketch map of the Antarctic Contents
Sir John Ross - Scientist of the Day
John Ross, an officer in the Royal Navy, was born June 24, 1777. He was chosen in 1818 by John Barrow of the Admiralty to command the first of the modern searches for the Northwest Passage (Barrow was our Scientist of the Day for June 19, 2014). Ross took his ship, HMS Isabella, up Baffin Bay, all the way to the entrance of the Arctic archipelago, which was called Lancaster Sound. He then declared that the Sound was blocked by a chain of mountains (which he named the Croker mountains), and he turned around and came home, much to the surprise of his junior officers, who could not see the mountains at all. Barrow was furious with Ross, and guaranteed that he would never get another command (which he did not). Barrow promptly sent Ross’s second-in-command, Edward Parry, back the next year, and Parry sailed right though the phantom Croker mountains and made it half-way across Canada. However, Ross’s book about his voyage of 1818 was a beautiful production and shows that he did far more than twiddle his thumbs up there in Baffin Bay, even if he did turn back prematurely. All the images on this page were taken from his book, A Voyage of Discovery (1819). We displayed this work in our 2008 exhibition, Ice: A Victorian Romance, where you can see some other images from this pioneering work.
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City