Hollow brass rods, possibly curtain rods

Two lengths of hollow brass rod, possibly curtain rods, from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The rods are hollow, bent and have flattened ends and are numbered AAA2228.1 and AAA228.2. It has been suggested that these non-magnetic poles were used in magnetic research, part of the objectives of the expedition.

The brass 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 '2 pieces of small hollow brass rode (like curtain rod);... [Stenton, 'Arctic' v.69, No. 4, p. 516]. McClintock visited the site on 2 June 1859 with his sledge team and recorded in his narrative that the material included 'long pieces of hollow brass curtain rods...' and in the Appendix lists 'a piece of a brass curtain rod' [McClintock, 'Voyage of the Fox' (1860), p304 and p368].

The rods were displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 3, No. 13 'Part of a curtain rod'. AAA2228.2 is 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, above the cleaning rod sections).

Object Details

ID: AAA2228
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Curtain 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: Hollow brass rods, possibly curtain rods

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