Tin water canteen

A tin water canteen supplied to the 1845 Franklin Northwest Passage Expedition, found at Beechey Island in September 1852. The water can is cylindrical with three lugs on the side to hold a strap and with a spout on the top. It is made of sheets of tinned wrought iron, soldered together. Inscribed on the can in white paint 'WATER CAN USED BY PARTIES DETACHED FROM THE SHIP. FOUND AT BEECHEY ISLAND 1852-53 (4)', recording its display in the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, where it was exhibited in the Franklin Room, Case 11, Number 4.

The RNM, G, 1913 catalogue attributes the find to the Inglefield expedition, but this expedition returned from the Arctic in 1852, so the original date range may have been an error, corrected in the catalogue.

Captain E. A. Inglefield's expedition stopped at Beechey Island on his return from surveying in the Polar Basin and delivering mail and provisions to the depot ship 'North Star', which served as a base for the 1852-54 Belcher Expedition. According to his subsequent publication 'A Summer Search for Sir John Franklin' he reached the island on 7 September 1852 and remained there for twelve hours. There they 'picked up some of the meat canisters with which the island is strewed, and made a collection of some of the relics of canvas and wood which were still found scattered here and there...' (page 86).

Object Details

ID: AAA2032
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Water canteen
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, Inglefield, 1852
Vessels: Isabel fl.1850
Date made: circa 1845
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 89 x 210 mm

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