Franklin relics, Polar Equipment and Relics

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Brimstone matches

Franklin relics

Object details:

Object ID AAA2142
Description A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-48. Seven brimstone matches found by Lieutenant W.R. Hobson at an abandoned camp site at Cape Felix, King William Island on 25 May 1859. They were collected by the McClintock Search Expedition 1857-59. Each match is a flat sliver of wood. Traces of sulphur are visible on the ends of three matches. The camp site was occupied by about twelve officers and men from the Franklin expedition during the summer of 1847; they lived in three small tents. They were probably engaged in surveying, scientific work or hunting while the expeditions ships remained trapped in the ice. The site was apparently abandoned in a hurry; Hobson found the tents flattened with blankets and bear skins underneath. They had been held up by boarding pikes, the heads of which had been twisted off their poles. Hobson thought the staffs had been used for firewood. He concluded that, as the party had left behind so much of their equipment, they had probably gone back to the ships.
Date made circa 1845

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Materials wood; sulphur
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