Share
twitterlinkedinfacebook
Image 1 of 1
9707-K18.jpg
9707-K18. Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) is best known as the explorer who discovered the South Pole in 1911. This photograph was taken five years earlier at the end of his first polar exploration, which was when he became the first person to navigate the northwest passage. Amundsen telegraphed the success of his expedition to the world from the army's northernmost wire station at Fort Egbert near Eagle, Alaska (on the Yukon river at the Canadian border). The photographer, Clarence Andrews, was stationed at Eagle as a customs agent. In Amundsen's My life as an Explorer (1927), pg. 58, he relates ?We arrived at Fort Egbert on December 5, 1905. I remember that the thermometer was sixty degrees below zero. Fort Egbert was the northernmost post of the United States army and at the end of the telegraph line. I was greeted with flattering enthusiasm by the commander at the post, who overpowered me with congratulations and with invitations to make a protracted stay as his guest. I did not feel that I could do this, but I did accept with deep gratitude his offer to send out my telegrams. I wrote out about a thousand words which were at once put on the wire. By an odd freak of circumstance, they had no sooner been sent than the cold somewhere on the line broke the wires, and it was not until a week later that they were repaired and I received confirmation that my telegram had reached the outer world. ... During this week of waiting and the subsequent weeks of recuperation I was the guest of Mr. Frank N. Smith, the resident manager of the Alaska Commercial Company, to whom I shall ever be grateful for his hospitality. I left Fort Egbert in February of 1906.? Amundsen's boat, the Gjoa, was locked in the ice east of Point Barrow for the winter. In July the boat was freed from the ice and sailed down the Bering Strait to San Francisco. Amundsen gave the boat to the City of San Francisco, and it was installed in Golden Gate Park as a historical souvenir.<br />
In Amundsen's Northwest Passa