July 4, 2011

Tuesday, 4 July 1911


Wisting at his sewing machine. [1]

Wisting, Amundsen wrote in his diary, "is sitting in the Great Ice Barrier and sewing tents on his Singer -- in +14°. To stop water dripping, he has lined his snowy sewing room with blankets ... and these insulate extraordinarily well. The sewing machine is a little sleepy first thing in the morning, but later on works well.... He is sewing new, light groundsheets in [the tents]. By this means, we will save several kilos." [2]

"Our sledging tents are of thin, white cloth, and that will be no good in the spring, when the sun is high. It will then be preferable to have a dark tent, into which one can go after the day's work, and rest one's eyes. Another consideration is that a dark colour will absorb the sun's rays to a greater degree, and make the tent warm. Ah well, we rarely allow ourselves to be defeated. We have made a mixture of ink powder and black boot polish, and with that product, we will get our tents as dark as we want."


[1] Roald Amundsen Bildearkiv, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[2] Roald Amundsen, diary, 5 July, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in The Amundsen Photographs (London : Hodder & Stoughton, c1987), p.111.

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