A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-48. A wooden paddle found in an abandoned boat at Erebus Bay, King William Island, in May 1859 by the McClintock Search Expedition 1857-59. It is made from oar blade, an extra piece of wood being attached with copper rivets and washers. The letter 'A' is carved on the oar blade.

McClintock's party reached this site on 30 May and discovered that Hobson had been there a few days before on 18 May. The boat was 28 foot long and mounted on a heavy sledge. McClintock found it just above high tide mark pointing back in the direction of the ships and containing a large quantity of abandoned personal possessions and two skeletons. In McClintock's opinion the boat had been modified and equipped for use in shallow water so it could ascend the Great Fish River. Paddles had been substituted for oars and the boat had no rudder.

Object Details

ID: AAA2194
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Paddle
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855)
Date made: 1847-1848; 1847-48
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 38 x 1124 x 200 mm

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