Fuel tank, Latham 47.02

On January 10, 1929, fisherman Martin Jørgensen found a fuel tank on the shore at Borge in Lofoten. His son, Julian Sortland, reported this to Lofotposten’s editorial staff, 📜 who were further asked to inform the police chief. The tank was handed in to the local sheriff and then transported to the police chief in Svolvær.

Newspaper descriptions of the tank contained details such as: “The drain pipe is worn away, but the filler pipe and drain pipe are in order, the plugs are attached by strings. Around both ends of the tank is an indented edge, and the paint is slightly scraped off. As far as one can see there is no inscription. At one end of the tank is a hemispherical bulge.”📜

The chief of police in Svolvær was able to confirm that the tank’s filler pipe bore a brass plate almost identical to that on the tank found in October 1928. This tank, however, could hold only 500 litres. The plate read: “Essence. Contenance 500 litres, Hydravion Latham.”

Detail photo of the brass plate stamped: “Essence. Contenance 500 litres, Hydravion Latham.” Photo: Lofotposten 17.1.1929 / National Library of Norway.
The tank was photographed in Svolvær before being transported to the Ministry of Defence in Oslo. Photo: Lofotposten 17.1.1929 / National Library of Norway.

The tank was empty and dry inside, and since it remained sealed with taps closed, investigators concluded that the fuel had been exhausted during the Latham’s flight. This was used as a new basis for calculating how far the flying boat had travelled before the tanks were removed from the hull.

This tank was later donated to the current Norwegian Maritime Museum in Oslo, and is now on display at the Polar Museum in Tromsø, The Arctic University museum of Norway. The tank was digitized in 2021 by AHR, The Arctic University of Norway.

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Sources:
Kristensen, Monica: Amundsens siste reise
Hovdenak, Gunnar: Roald Amundsens siste ferd 📜
Latham-ferden: Roald Amundsens endelikt. Utgitt av Vågemot miniforlag 📜

1872
Roald Amundsen born July 16
1880
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
1886
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
1890
Starting university
1893
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
1893
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
1894
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
1895
Ship’s Officer’s exam
1896
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
1899
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
1900
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
1907
Polar bears as draft animals
1908
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
1909
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
1914
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
1918
Maud expedition
1922
Nita and Camilla move in
1923
Uranienborg for sale
1924
Amundsen goes bankrupt
1925
To 88 degrees north
1926
Norge expedition
1927
Lecture tour in Japan
1928
Latham flight
1928
Fuel tank. Latham 47.02. Found in 1929
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
1938
Betty’s house burns down
2015
A chest full of photographs is discovered
2020
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital

Medicine chest, lid

The chest is divided into three lockable compartments. The lid contains several copies of a booklet with descriptions of various diseases and suggestions for treatment, and tubes of ointment for use such as frostbite, gout pain, eczema, burns and haemorrhoids.

This medicine chest was made for Roald Amundsen’s planned expedition across the Arctic Ocean in 1914, but was not taken when the Maud left after several postponements four years later.

Included among the chest’s contents are remedies for use against seasickness, gonorrhea, frostbite, sleep problems and coughing.

The drugs were manufactured and prepared by pharmacist Wilhelm Wang, doctor Alexander Severin Arnfinsen and ophthalmologist Birger Lykke.

Although many polar expeditions had experienced diseases and accidents, Amundsen never had his own doctor on his expeditions; instead he prepared some of the crew by having them learn skills like tooth extraction, treatment of fractures and care of wounds.

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Related resources

1872
Roald Amundsen born July 16
1880
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
1886
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
1890
Starting university
1893
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
1893
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
1894
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
1895
Ship’s Officer’s exam
1896
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
1899
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
1900
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
1907
Polar bears as draft animals
1908
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
1909
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
1914
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1914
Medicine chest, lid
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
1918
Maud expedition
1922
Nita and Camilla move in
1923
Uranienborg for sale
1924
Amundsen goes bankrupt
1925
To 88 degrees north
1926
Norge expedition
1927
Lecture tour in Japan
1928
Latham flight
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
1938
Betty’s house burns down
2015
A chest full of photographs is discovered
2020
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital

Medicine chest, lid

The medicine chest from 1914 is still full.

It was made for Roald Amundsen’s planned expedition across the Arctic Ocean in 1914, but was not taken when the Maud left after several postponements four years later.

Included among the chest’s contents are remedies for use against seasickness, gonorrhea, frostbite, sleep problems and coughing. The drugs were manufactured and prepared by pharmacist Wilhelm Wang, doctor Alexander Severin Arnfinsen and ophthalmologist Birger Lykke.

The chest comprises three lockable compartments. The lid contains ointments for frostbite, haemorrhoids and other wounds. In the main compartment are 83 sealed tins with different contents. The drawer contains bandages, instruments and other equipment to be used in case of illness and injury. Although many polar expeditions had experienced diseases and accidents, Amundsen never had his own doctor on his expeditions; instead he prepared some of the crew by having them learn skills like tooth extraction, treatment of fractures and care of wounds.

The medicine chest in Augmented reality (AR)

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Related resources

1872
Roald Amundsen born July 16
1880
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
1886
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
1890
Starting university
1893
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
1893
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
1894
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
1895
Ship’s Officer’s exam
1896
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
1899
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
1900
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
1907
Polar bears as draft animals
1908
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
1909
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
1914
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1914
Medicine chest
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
1918
Maud expedition
1922
Nita and Camilla move in
1923
Uranienborg for sale
1924
Amundsen goes bankrupt
1925
To 88 degrees north
1926
Norge expedition
1927
Lecture tour in Japan
1928
Latham flight
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
1938
Betty’s house burns down
2015
A chest full of photographs is discovered
2020
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital

Survival suit

This suit was discovered in 2015 in a box marked “Oscar Wisting”, in one of the outbuildings at Amundsen’s home. Whether it has been used by any expedition is uncertain, as is the story behind it.

On the neck label is written:
“Manufactured by American Rubber Co. Boston U.S.A. for Preserver Suit Co. Inc. New York, U.S.A. Under patent issued December 29th, 1914”.

The survival suit in Augmented reality (AR)

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Related resources

1872
Roald Amundsen born July 16
1880
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
1886
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
1890
Starting university
1893
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
1893
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
1894
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
1895
Ship’s Officer’s exam
1896
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
1899
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
1900
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
1907
Polar bears as draft animals
1908
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
1909
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
1914
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1914
Survival suit
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
1918
Maud expedition
1922
Nita and Camilla move in
1923
Uranienborg for sale
1924
Amundsen goes bankrupt
1925
To 88 degrees north
1926
Norge expedition
1927
Lecture tour in Japan
1928
Latham flight
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
1938
Betty’s house burns down
2015
A chest full of photographs is discovered
2020
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital

Shotgun

Roald Amundsen is said to have used this shotgun on several expeditions. It was made by Holland & Holland and bears the serial no. 14950. Between the barrels is engraved, “Examined by Holland & Holland. 98 New Bond St London – Winners of all the ‘Field’ rifle trials”.

The gun is in a private collection.

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Sledge

This sledge was a part of the equipment on the Fram expedition. Olav Bjaaland made it for Adolf Henrik Lindstrøm during the winter in Antarctica. It was used for transport on the ice shelf around the expedition’s base at the Bay of Whales.

The dimensions of the sledge are: Height: 21 cm, Length: 238 cm, Width: 49 cm

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Related resources

1872
Roald Amundsen born July 16
1880
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
1886
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
1890
Starting university
1893
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
1893
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
1894
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
1895
Ship’s Officer’s exam
1896
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
1899
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
1900
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
1907
Polar bears as draft animals
1908
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
1909
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
1910 – 1911
Sledge
1914
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
1918
Maud expedition
1922
Nita and Camilla move in
1923
Uranienborg for sale
1924
Amundsen goes bankrupt
1925
To 88 degrees north
1926
Norge expedition
1927
Lecture tour in Japan
1928
Latham flight
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
1938
Betty’s house burns down
2015
A chest full of photographs is discovered
2020
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital

Marie the polar bear cub

In April 1920, when the Maud expedition was off Ayon Island in Siberia, Roald Amundsen met the local trader George Kibisow. Kibosow was originally from the Caucasus and worked for the local Russian trading company. Amundsen bought a mammoth tooth and 27 white fox skins from him, and was also offered a polar bear cub that Kibisow had captured a few weeks earlier. Amundsen named the cub Marie and tethered her to a box on the ice outside the ship. According to Amundsen, she liked lard, meat and milk, but when he tried to walk her on a leash, she was less than eager.

“Have had my first walk with today with Marie, who did not seem to find any pleasure in it. Resisted as far as she could, but had to be dragged by the superior force. Can already pat her without danger of losing fingers. She places no great value on it but completely turns her back on me. She likes lard best. She has not eaten fish yet,” wrote Amundsen in his diary on May 22, 1920 📜.

The next day he wrote: “It’s not easy to make friends with Marie, but it may happen. I carry her now, whenever I want, but then I have to make sure to hold her head otherwise she would bite. She is constantly feuding with the dogs. The little thing is not afraid.”📜

Gradually, Marie accepted more and more contact; she let herself be petted and cared for. In just a month, several of the crew had also established a good relationship with Marie, and Amundsen in particular often wrote about her in his diary. But on June 17, 1920, Marie’s training comes to an abrupt end. Amundsen wrote “Chloroformed Marie to put her down this morning. I had to give up all hope today of getting it trained. After having cared for and given it food for a month, when I came with milk to her in the morning, she came right at me in full rage. Under an experienced trainer she might become well-mannered, but I had to give it up. Hanssen has skinned her and W. will now wash and prepare the pelt. The skull is cleaned and hung out to dry. I will have her stuffed and set up at home.” 📜

Marie was stuffed and brought home to Svartskog. She sat at the top of the stairs at Uranienborg for several years, but was later moved into the study where she remains today. In August 1980, there was a burglary in which thieves took both Marie and a stuffed polar bear head. Fortunately, the stolen items were discovered lying in a bush by Østensjø, Oslo and returned to Uranienborg a few days later.

Marie in Augmented reality (AR)

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Related resources

1872
Roald Amundsen born July 16
1880
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
1886
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
1890
Starting university
1893
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
1893
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
1894
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
1895
Ship’s Officer’s exam
1896
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
1899
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
1900
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
1907
Polar bears as draft animals
1908
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
1909
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
1914
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
1918
Maud expedition
1920
Marie the polar bear cub
1922
Nita and Camilla move in
1923
Uranienborg for sale
1924
Amundsen goes bankrupt
1925
To 88 degrees north
1926
Norge expedition
1927
Lecture tour in Japan
1928
Latham flight
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
1938
Betty’s house burns down
2015
A chest full of photographs is discovered
2020
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital

Telephone

Roald Amundsen’s telephone is an L.M. Ericsson, manufactured in Sweden. Due to its shape, this model was called “The Sewing Machine” or “The Eiffel Tower”. It was one of the world’s first telephones with its own handset and was manufactured from 1892 to 1925.

On 14 June 1928, Amundsen received an ill-fated call. It was from the wholesaler Fredrik Peterson, the head of the Norwegian-French Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Peterson wanted to help Amundsen to rescue the Italian airship that was reported missing north of Svalbard. Through his contacts in France, he was able to offer Amundsen the Latham 47 flying boat with a French crew. Four days later, the Latham 47 took off from Tromsø: Roald Amundsen, pilot Leif Ragnar Dietrichson and the French crew of four never returned.

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Training springs

Amundsen was interested in training throughout his life. It is said that he walked several hours every day and cycled long distances. According to Amundsen, during a health examination for military service, the doctor was so impressed with his muscles that he summoned several officers to study Amundsen’s highly trained physique.

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Sealskin mittens

We do not know on which expedition these mittens were used. However, they are similar to the those used by Roald Amundsen and the crew during the Norge-expedition across the Arctic Ocean in 1926.

The mittens in Augmented reality (AR)

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Related resources

1872
Roald Amundsen born July 16
1880
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
1886
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
1890
Starting university
1893
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
1893
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
1894
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
1895
Ship’s Officer’s exam
1896
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
1899
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
1900
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
1907
Polar bears as draft animals
1908
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
1909
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
1914
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
1918
Maud expedition
1922
Nita and Camilla move in
1923
Uranienborg for sale
1924
Amundsen goes bankrupt
1925
To 88 degrees north
1926
Norge expedition
1926
Sealskin mittens
1927
Lecture tour in Japan
1928
Latham flight
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
1938
Betty’s house burns down
2015
A chest full of photographs is discovered
2020
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital