Two sections of a gun cleaning rod

Two lengths of a gun cleaning rod from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The end of the rod is slightly bulbous and grooved. The rod is made in two pieces joined by a brass screw and socket. A similar gun rod is illustrated in R. Timmins & Sons of Birmingham's pattern book 1845-50, plate 132 'Best Red wood gun rod'.

The gun cleaning rods were found by Lieutenant William Hobson's sledge team on 3 May 1859 near the Ross Cairn, Point Victory, King William Island, as part of the search expedition led by Captain F. L. McClintock from the 'Fox'. Lt. Hobson discovered a pile of clothing four foot high and other abandoned equipment taken from the ships. In his report Hobson states 'two joints of a cleaning rod for a gun;... [Stenton, 'Arctic' v.69, No. 4, p. 516]. McClintock visited the site on 2 June 1859 with his sledge team and directly quotes Hobson's description in his Appendix 'two joints of a cleaning rod for a gun' [McClintock, 'Voyage of the Fox' (1860), p368].

The cleaning rods were displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 66 'Parts of cleaning rod'. The items are 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. 11 (middle, below the bent brass rod)

Object Details

ID: AAA2226
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Gun-cleaning rod
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.
Parts: Two sections of a gun cleaning rod

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