This #MuseumMonday, we’re featuring the Ellsworth Corridor.
This area on the Museum’s ﬁrst ﬂoor just off the Grand Gallery celebrates a relatively unsung hero of polar exploration: the American Lincoln Ellsworth. His bust graces the back wall of the narrow hallway, while the display cases on either side contain artifacts detailing Ellsworth’s efforts to become the ﬁrst man to ﬂy across both polar continents, a feat he accomplished in 1935 when he crossed the Antarctic in his plane Polar Star. Ten years earlier, Ellsworth’s ﬁrst attempt to ﬂy over the North Pole teamed him with Norwegian Roald Amundsen, whose earlier overland competition with British Royal Navy Captain Robert Falcon Scott to reach the South Pole is chronicled in the Museum’s traveling exhibition Race to the End of the Earth. Through the special relationship between Amundsen and Ellsworth, the Museum Library’s Memorabilia Collection came to possess items the Norwegian explorer carried with him on his quest to reach the South Pole, including a sledge, chronometer, binoculars, shotgun, and a tin cup from the ship Fram, which are featured in the corridor.
Explore other halls on this #MuseumMonday!
Happy birthday to Roald Amundsen, leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole.
Born to a family of Norwegian shipowners on July 16, 1872, Amundsen knew by the age of 15 that he would one day be an explorer.
In one of the most stirring tales in the annals of Antarctic exploration, the contest to reach the South Pole was between two leaders—Roald Amundsen on the Norwegian side and Robert Falcon Scott on the British—and the challenges they faced as they undertook their separate 1,800-mile journeys from the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole and back.
Amundsen was a meticulous planner; he realized that success was sure only if he correctly estimated the risks he would face, leaving little to chance. On the afternoon of December 14, 1911, Roald Amundsen and his team reached the geographical South Pole, had had won the race.
Learn more about Amundsen and Scott’s expeditions in the exhibition Race to the End of the Earth, currently traveling.
Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott was born on this day in 1868.
Scott captained the British expedition to the South Pole in 1911, attempting to be the first to successfully undertake the 1,800-mile journey from the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole and back. The expedition was arduous, beset with disaster, and ultimately proved fatal for Scott and his team. However, his contributions to science were significant, and the legacy he leaves behind is one of exploration and encouraging scientific investigation.