Cobbler's awl

A cobbler's awl from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The awl has a turned wooden handle marked with the Government broad arrow. The steel point is protected by a piece of cork. The awl was probably carried to repair boots.

The awl was 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 ’an awl'. [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1859), page 366].

The cobbler's awl was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 76. 'Cobbler's awl'. 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 (left of centre).

Object Details

ID: AAA2217
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Cobbler's awl
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
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 124 x 25 mm

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