Snow goggles from Franklin's last expedition

Essential information

Opening times: 
Included in venue ticket
National Maritime Museum, Ground floor, Voyagers gallery

A relic of Sir John Franklin's tragic expedition 1845-48.

These spectacles with tinted lenses were found in an abandoned boat at Erebus Bay, King William Island, in May 1859 by the McClintock Search Expedition 1857-59.

McClintock's party reached this site on 30 May and discovered that another expedition 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.

Over the years there would be many expeditions looking for the 128 men who were lost along with Sir John Franklin. Analysis of their remains suggests that combined with exposure to the harsh environment, a combination of hypothermia, lead poisoning, scurvy and starvation would prove fatal to all.