Wire and glass snow goggles

A pair of wire snow goggles with blue glass lenses from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The spectacles have straight, hinged sides and oval blue lenses. Wire mesh remains on the right-hand side between the lens frame and the hinge. They were intended to protect the wearer's eyes from snow blindness. The goggles were found in a cylindrical tin case (AAA2195.1).

The snow goggles were found at the boat site in Erebus Bay by Captain F. L. McClintock's sledge team on 30 May 1859, as part of the search expedition led by McClintock The site had been visited and partially investigated by Lt. William Hobson on 24 May but his report does not list everything he saw or removed. McClintock records ’a pair of blue glass spectacles, or goggles, with steel frame, and wire gauze encircling the glasses, in a tin case'. [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1859), page 367].

The goggles were displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 92 'Tin case with spectacles (green glass)' [Note the colour is incorrect]. The item is also shown in - 'Stereoscopic slides of the relics of Sir John Franklin's Expedition' photographed by Lieutenant Cheyne RN, at the United Services Museum, Whitehall, No. 5 (top, left of centre).

Object Details

ID: AAA2195
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Snow goggles
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: Before 1845
Exhibition: North-West Passage
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: 100 x 30 mm
Parts: Wire and glass snow goggles

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