ANEROID BAROMETER A William Cary aneroid barometer provided for Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909
Lot 69*
ANEROID BAROMETER A William Cary aneroid barometer provided for Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909
£18,000 - 20,000
US$ 30,000 - 34,000
Lot Details
ANEROID BAROMETER
A William Cary aneroid barometer provided for Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909, the silvered dial with altitude and pressure scales, blued steel pointer, lettered 'Surveying Aneroid Compensated 1322 CARY 7, Pall Mall LONDON', brass watch-form case with scale magnifier and suspension loop, in fitted brown leather case stamped 'BR. ANT.EX. 1907.' 3in (7.6cm) diameter,

Footnotes

  • Although there are no markings on the instrument itself, the stamp on the case makes it clear this aneroid was supplied to Shackleton's Nimrod expedition. By repute it was that used by T.W. Edgeworth David, Professor of Geology at the University of Sydney, during the first ascent of Mount Erebus.

    Professor David initially accompanied the expedition to help establish the base camp, but at Shackleton's invitation he remained to lead the scientific work during the following year. Before winter set in, David led a party which achieved the first ascent of Mount Erebus, the active volcano which towers over Ross Island. The aneroid was used to help calculate the height of the summit. He was quoted as saying "As a result of averaging aneroid levels, together with the hypsometer determination at our camp on top of the old crater, calculations were made by to show that the summit of Erebus is 13,370 feet above sea level" (Branagan, D. "T.W. Edgeworth David: A Life" National Library of Australia, pp. 161-178). His calculations indicated that two or more aneroids were employed on the ascent, but one was lost on the descent from the summit. Modern measurement has now revised the altitude of Mount Erebus to 12,450 feet (3795m)

    The barometer was retained by Edgeworth David after his return to Australia. On his retirement in 1924, the instrument was passed to a former pupil Leo Cotton, Professor until 1948, and thereafter to suceeding professors. A copy of Branagan's biography of Edgeworth David is included with the lot.

    Provenance: T.W. Edgeworth David; Leo Cotton; Charles Marshall; G.M. Phillip and by descent.
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