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Arctic Steam: HMS Pioneer and the Technology of the Search for Franklin

Author(s): Mara A Deckinga

Year: 2016

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In mid-nineteenth century Britain, the dramatic disappearance of Sir John Franklin and his men led to a large-scale search conducted throughout the Arctic by sailing ships and steamers.  The rescue expeditions, conducted over a twelve-year span, highlight the shift from reliance on sail to the prevalence of steam during this period.  HMS Pioneer (formerly the merchant Eider), was built as a topsail schooner with oscillating steam engine, and later outfitted as part of an Arctic squadron.  The vessel was refit with heating apparatus, heating pipes, and other contemporary developments.  By focusing on HMS Pioneer, the technology of Arctic exploration will be explored as it fits into contemporary shipboard supplies.  In addition, comparisons with earlier efforts, as well as later searchers, highlight the stability of Arctic adaptations.

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Arctic Steam: HMS Pioneer and the Technology of the Search for Franklin. Mara A Deckinga. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434746)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 578

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America