Color Photographs of an Ill-Fated Antarctic Voyage in 1914

Ernest Shackleton's ship lay crippled in Antarctica. A photographer documented it

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In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton assembled a crew for his ship, the Endurance, and attempted to cross the Antarctic continent by passing through the South Pole. He brought along with him a color photographer, Australian Frank Hurley, who documented the ambitious expedition even as it took a near-disastrous turn in 1915 when the ship became "inexorably trapped" in the ice shelf.

Hurley detailed the ship's plight at first with his color photography, and then with a black-and-white Vest Pocket camera. Their story is immortalized in the State Library of New South Wales, along with a Hurley's collection of color photographs. Those pictures were noted by NPR as "one of the earliest forms of color photography." The Endurance's crew were eventually rescued in 1916.

The Endurance In Antarctica in 1915:

Photographer Frank Hurley under the Endurance's bow:

A shipmate takes in the splendor of Fortuna Glacier:

Glaciers dwarfing the Endurance:

The ship's bosun mending a hewn net:

Sunrise in Anarctica:

The Endurance under full sail in the Weddell Sea:

An on-land glance at photographer Frank Hurley:

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