A chart showing the North-West Passage

The Northwest Passage 1853

Depicting the efforts to find the Franklin expedition, this map was published at the height of interest in the Northwest Passage.

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Compiled in 1853, this map shows the routes taken by the various expeditions that sailed to discover the fate of Sir John Franklin

And the crews of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, who set out to discover the fabled North-West Passage in 1845. All 24 officers and 110 men died. The wrecks of the two ships have been found in recent years. The Passage was first conquered by Commander Robert McLure between 1850 and 1853 (his ship HMS Investigator was trapped in sea ice for three of these years), albeit partly by sledging. He and his crew were rescued by HMS Resolute, part of Sir Edward Belcher’s squadron, which also became trapped in the ice and abandoned in 1854. She was later salvaged, and some of her timbers used to fashion the desk used by US presidents in the Oval Office. The first party to sail through the Northwest Passage was Roald Amundsen’s in 1906, aboard the Gjoa, a converted herring boat, only 21 metres long with a crew of 6.

Original Size: 50 x 100 cms

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