Rare Photos Found From 1915 Antarctic Expedition

Negatives are discovered frozen in hut's darkroom
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2013 5:42 PM CST
Rare Photos Found From 1915 Antarctic Expedition
Alexander Stevens on the deck of the Aurora.   (Antarctic Heritage Trust)

Ghostly images of a nearly 100-year-old Antarctic expedition have been rescued from a block of ice and processed for the first time, Guardia reports. They date back to 1915, when an advance team for Sir Ernest Shackleton called the Ross Sea Party arrived to set up supply depots for the last leg of Shackleton's journey across Antarctica. But the team's ship, the Aurora, was blown out to sea in a blizzard, and the ten men had to survive together in a hut, reports Huffington Post.

Three died before the Aurora returned to rescue them in 1917—including expedition photographer Arnold Smith, who likely snapped the photos. New Zealand's Antarctic Heritage Trust discovered his cellulose nitrate negatives in a box in the hut's darkroom, CNN reports. A conservator separated and cleaned them, and found amazingly that many were only damaged around the edges. "It's the first example that I'm aware of, of undeveloped negatives from a century ago from the Antarctic heroic era," said Heritage Trust's executive director. "There's a paucity of images from that expedition." See more photos at CNN and HuffPo. (Read more Antarctica stories.)

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