Sources of equipment and supplies

The following is extracted from Mawson’s The Home of the Blizzard (abridged edition): Appendix 2 (Acknowledgments).

Scientific equipment

The scope of the scientific work necessitated extensive purchases, and these were amplified by loans from many scientific bodies and individuals, for which we are duly thankful.

Numerous instruments for surveying and navigation were loaned by the Royal Geographical Society and by the Admiralty. In this connection we are indebted to Admiral Purey Cust and to Dr Scott Keltie and Mr Reeves.

An assortment of oceanographical gear was generously supplied through HSH The Prince of Monaco, from the Institut Oceanographique of Monaco. Dr W.S. Bruce made similar donations and supervised the construction of our largest deep-sea dredge. The three-thousand-fathom tapered steel cables and mountings, designed to work the deep-water dredges, were supplied by Messrs. Bullivant. Appliances were also loaned by Mr J.T. Buchanan of the Challenger Expedition and by the Commonwealth Fisheries Department. The self-recording tide-gauges we employed were the property of the New South Wales Government, obtained through Mr G. Halligan.

The taxidermists’ requirements, and other necessaries for the preservation of zoological specimens, were for the most part purchased, but great assistance was rendered through Professor Baldwin-Spencer by the National Museum of Melbourne and by the South Australian Museum, through the offices of Professor Stirling.

Articles of equipment for botanical work were loaned by Mr J.H. Maiden, Director of the Botanical Gardens, Sydney.

A supply of heavy cameras for base-station work and light cameras for sledging was purchased from Messrs. Newman and Guardia; our stock being amplified by many private cameras, especially those belonging to F.H. Hurley, photographer to the Expedition. Special Lumière plates and material for colour photography were not omitted, and, during the final cruise of the Aurora, P.E. Correll at his own expense employed the Paget process for colour photography with good results.

The programme of magnetic work was intended to be as extensive as possible. In the matter of equipment we were very materially assisted by the Carnegie Institute through Dr L.A. Bauer. An instrument was also loaned through Mr H.F. Skey of the Christchurch Magnetic Observatory. A full set of Eschenhagen self-recording instruments was purchased, and in this and in other dispositions for the magnetic work we had to thank Dr C. Chree, Director of the National Physical Laboratory, and Dr C.C. Farr of University College, Christchurch. Captain Chetwynd kindly assisted in arrangements for the ship’s compasses.

Two complete sets of Telefunken wireless apparatus were purchased from the Australasian Wireless Company. The motors and dynamos were got from Buzzacott, Sydney, and the masts were built by Saxton and Binns, Sydney. Manilla and tarred-hemp ropes were supplied on generous terms by Melbourne firms (chiefly Kinnear).

The meteorological instruments were largely purchased from Negretti and Zambra, but a great number were loaned by the Commonwealth Meteorological Department (Director, Mr H.A. Hunt) and by the British Meteorological Office (Director, Dr W.N. Shaw).

For astronomical work the following instruments were loaned, besides transit-theodolites and sextants: a four-inch telescope by the Greenwich Observatory through the Astronomer Royal; a portable transit-theodolite by the Melbourne Observatory through the Director, Mr P. Baracchi; two stellar sidereal chronometers by the Adelaide Observatory through the Astronomer, Mr P. Dodwell.

The apparatus for bacteriological and physiological work were got in Sydney, in arrangements and suggestions for which our thanks are due to Dr Tidswell (Microbiological Laboratory) and Professor Welsh of Sydney University.

Apart from the acquisition of the instruments, there were long preparations to be made in the arrangement of the scientific programme and in the training of the observers. In this department the Expedition was assisted by many friends.

Thus Professor W.A. Haswell (Biology), Professor T.W. Edgeworth David (Geology), and Mr H.A. Hunt (Meteorology), each drew up instructions relating to his respective sphere. Training in astronomical work at eh Melbourne Observatory was supervised by Mr P. Baracchi, Director, and in magnetic work by the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institute (Director, Dr L.A. Bauer). Further, in the subject of magnetics, we have to thank especially Mr E. Kidston of the Carnegie Institute for field tuition, and Mr Baldwin of the Melbourne Observatory for demonstrations in the working of the Eschenhagen magnetographs. Professor J.A. Pollock gave us valuable advice on wireless and other physical subjects. At the Australian Museum, Sydney, Mr Hedley rendered assistance in the zoological preparations. In the conduct of affairs we were assisted on many occasions by Messrs W.S. Dun (Sydney), J.H. Maiden (Sydney), Robert Hall (Hobart), G.H. Knibbs (Melbourne) and by the presidents and members of the councils of the several Geographical Societies in Australia (more particularly Mr Piper, Mr Grummer, Mr Sachell and Dr J.C. Vercoe) – as well, of course, as to those of the Royal Geographical Society, London (especially Major Darwin, Lord Curzon, Dr Douglas Freshfield and Dr Scott Keltie).

Medical equipment

Messrs Burroughs and Welcome (drugs), Messrs Allen & Hanbury (surgical instruments).

General Stores and Equipment

A large quantity of coal was consumed by the Aurora in steaming her fifty thousand odd miles, and we were greatly helped by large gifts of this commodity gratuitously placed at our disposal by several friends including Mr John Brown (NSW), Mr Dyce Murphy (Melbourne), the Lithgow Coal Association, and the Crown Preserved Fuel Co (briquettes).

Through the offices of Mr C.A. Bang we were indebted to ‘De Forenede Dampskilbsselskab’ of Copenhagen for the transport of the dogs from Greenland. While the dogs remained in Hobart Mr Thomas Tabart, Chief Quarantine Officer, took a personal interest in their welfare, and gave up much of this time to see that they were properly cared for.

The largest of our huts, that erected in Adelie Land, was presented, jointly, by the timber merchants of Sydney. The hut which found its way to Queen Mary Land was the gift of Messrs T. Anthony of Melbourne.

The following firms contributed valuable additions to the equipment:

British Imperial Oil Co (Shell petrol); British American Tobacco Co (cigarettes, cigars and tobacco); Bryant and May (matches); Jaeger (clothing); Eagley (clothing); Burberry (windproofs); Perdriau Rubber Co (rubber boots); Athlone Woollen Mills (overcoating); Albion Woollen Mills (rugs); Collins Bros (blankets); Messrs Johnson (oilskin coats); Acetylene Corporation (acetylene equipment); Bingham & Co (calcium carbide); Dee Oil Co (engine oil); Wakefield & Co (lubricating oil); Flexible Metallic Tubing Co (fireproof ash bags); British Aluminium Co (aluminium ware); Vacuum Oil Co (lubricating oil); Messrs Chubb (safe); Mappin & Webb (cutlery and electro ware); Messrs Singer (sewing machines); Steel Trucks, Ltd (portable trucks); Gamages (sporting gear); Sames & Co (piano); Gramophone Co (gramophones); Humber Co (cycle wheels); Smith Premier Co (typewriter); Griffin (photographic equipment); Paget Plate Co (photographic plates); Kodak Co, of Australia (plates); Cowles & Dun (firearms); Carl Zeiss (binoculars); G.B. Kent (brushes); Windsor & Newton (artists’ materials); John Sands (stationery); Ludowici & Son (leather goods); Milwall & Sons (fishing tackle); Spratts (dog biscuits); Allen Taylor (timber for sledges); Worsfold (skis)(; Lever Bros (soap); Pears Ltd (toilet soap); Price (candles); Smith & Wellstood (cooking range); Metters (range).

Food Stuffs

We are grateful to the following firms for contributions of food stuffs:

Messrs Cadbury (cocoa); Bovril (pemmican); Glaxo Ltd (glaxo); Colonial Sugar Refining Co (sugar, syrup and spirit); Colman (flour and mustard); Hartley (jam); Keiller & Son (marmalade); Plasmon Co (plasmon and plasmon biscuits); ‘Te Sol’ Co (tea); Griffiths Bros (tea and coffee); Armitage & Co (coffee); Messrs Rose (lime juice); Huttons (‘Pineapple’ brand bacon and ham); Flemington Meat Preserving Co (canned soups and meat); Sydney Meat Preserving Co (canned meat); Baynes Bros (canned meat); Ramornie Meat Co (canned meat); Border Preserving Co (canned rabbit); Cook & Co (sauces); Mason & Co (pickles); Eschoffier (soups); Hugon (suet); Conrad (suet); C. & E. Morton (canned fish); Laver Bros (canned vegetables and fruit); Jones Bros (canned fruit); Nestle (condensed milk); Parsons Bros, & Co (prepared cereals); Bird & Co (baking powder, custard powder, etc); Arnott Bros (biscuits); Swallow & Ariell (biscuits); Jacob & Co (fancy biscuits); Patria Biscuit Fabriek (fancy biscuits); Colac Dairying Co (butter); Cerebos (salt); Castle Salt Co (salt); Trugood Co (milk preparations); Fullers (sweet stuffs); Batger (preserved fruit); Farrah Ltd (sweet stuffs); Horlick (malted milk); Seager (preserved meats); Neaves (health diet); Brown & Polson (cornflour); Schweppes (mineral waters); Köpke (Port wine); Burgoyne (wine); Marmite Co (vegetable extract); Messrs Foster & Co (dried peas); Eggo Ltd (dried eggs); Barclay, Perkins & Co (stout); Groves & Whitnall Ltd (ale).

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