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100-year-old negatives show stranded Antarctic explorers

Posted: January 13, 2014 1:55 p.m.
Updated: January 13, 2014 1:55 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — After painstakingly restoring a stack of negatives stuck together, conservationists say they have restored a host of never-before-seen images from an historical expedition to Antarctica a century ago.

The images were pulled from the Antarctic darkroom of Herbert Ponting, who captured Ernest Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party expedition. The expedition from coast to coast of the continent, began in 1914 and ended in 1917.

When conservationists got a hold of the negatives, the film frames were stuck together in a clump, with edges curled over and the cellulose nitrate warped. After careful work, conservationists were able to separate 14 images from the time when Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s team was stranded after their ship blew out to sea.

The images are mostly of the snowy desert’s landscape, though two shows Alexander Stevens aboard the Aurora ship.

The negatives were restored as part of the preservation of Captain Scott’s hut. The project includes the preservation of more than 10,000 items.

“It’s an exciting find and we are delighted to see them exposed after a century. It’s a testament to the dedication and precision of our conservation teams’ efforts to save Scott’s
Cape Evans hut,” said Nigel Watson, Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Executive Director.

Copyright 2014 Deseret Digital Media Inc.



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