The polar ship Fram (meaning “forward” in Norwegian) was designed and built by Colin Archer for Fridtjof Nansen’s drift across the Arctic Ocean in 1893–96. The hull was constructed with a rounded bow so that it would be pushed up by the pressure of the Arctic sea ice instead of being crushed by it. It consisted of three layers of timber and was about 70 cm thick.
Type: three-masted schooner
Length: 39 m (130 ft)
Beam: 11 m (36 ft)
Draft (laden): 4.75 m (15 ft 8 in)
Total sail area: ca. 600 m² (6000 sq. ft)
Engine: Originally a steam engine of 220 horsepower (164 kW), but a diesel engine of 180 horsepower (134 kW) was fitted before Amundsen’s expedition in 1910.
Displacement (laden): 800 tons
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Fram was used on Fridtjof Nansen’s drift across the Arctic Ocean (1893–96), Otto Sverdrup’s expedition to Arctic Canada (1898–1902) and Roald Amundsen’s expedition to Antarctica (1910–12).
After departing Antarctica in 1912, Fram sailed to Buenos Aires and then to Colón at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. In anticipation of being the first ship to sail through the canal, Fram lay for a long time waiting for it to be completed. When the opening was postponed, Fram returned to Norway and arrived in the summer of 1914. A lot of materials from Fram were used in the construction of Amundsen’s polar ship Maud, which began in 1917, but instead of breaking the ship up, it was decided during the 1920s that Fram should be restored and preserved. So, in 1935, Fram was hauled ashore at Bygdøy in Oslo, and in the following year the Fram museum opened.