© McCord Museum
Implements and Apparatus for the Arctic Expedition
Anonyme - Anonymous
May 29th 1875, 19th century
Ink on paper - Wood engraving
39.9 x 27 cm
© McCord Museum
Keys to History:
In the 19th century, an Arctic expedition often took more than a year, and one of the main difficulties was ensuring the survival of the crew. The ships were therefore loaded up with tonnes of provisions and equipment to enable the men to carry out their mission and, hopefully, return safe and sound. Weapons for hunting and fishing, tools for cutting and sawing the ice, and dynamite and special anchors to free icebound vessels were all taken aboard. As the men would often have to go out on the ice, they were also provided with skis, sleds, tents and sleeping bags. Vast quantities of spirits were also loaded onto the ship, to be drunk by the crew or offered to the Inuit. Many items, such as knives, pins, tools and even umbrellas (totally useless in the Arctic!) were taken along to trade with the Native peoples.
This wood engraving was published in The Illustrated London News, an English magazine. Woodcutting is the oldest engraving technique known. It appeared in the first century C.E. in China, but became more common in Europe towards the fifteenth century.
As its name indicates, The Illustrated London News was published in London, England. Along with news of London and Great Britain, it also carried international news, including pictures of Canada and its history.
The Illustrated London News was founded on May 14, 1842, as a weekly. It is still published today, but only twice a year.
The Illustrated London News was founded by Herbert Ingram in 1842. A bookseller and printer, this native of Boston was able to establish his magazine with the profits he made from selling laxatives.