Belcher Arctic expedition, 1850s

Belcher Arctic expedition, 1850s

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Credit: BRITISH LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Belcher Arctic expedition. 19th-century artwork of a scene from the Belcher Arctic expedition (1850-1854) sent to the Canadian Arctic's North-West Passage to find the lost Franklin expedition. Edward Belcher led five British Navy ships, with four abandoned in pack ice. The two shown trapped in ice here are HMS Assistance and HMS Pioneer at the end of January as daylight returns after the long winter night. At left is the glow from the returning Sun which is still below the horizon, with the Moon and stars in the sky at right. This artwork, by crew member Walter William May, is from his series of fourteen sketches of the voyage, published in 1855.

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