Wind Speed: 11
Temp with wind chill: -24
On our work list is an object from Scott’s hut at Cape Evans described as: Wooden case, marked: To be sent away by August 20th 1910. Balloons for South Expedition, 2 large canvas items, disintegrating celluloid. The box was assumed to contain Scott’s weather balloons. Last week we brought the box inside to begin work. Well… in the end this box contained 43 items, none of them weather balloons, and none of them celluloid. Several are mysterious. Amongst the contents, things that I am personally fond of include:
A sheaf of amber-coloured transparent sheets. It’s not celluloid, cellulose acetate or cellulose nitrate, but it does react like sized gelatin. We are not sure what this is. It does not seem to be cooking gelatin. It is not film. Historic tracing paper? Any ideas?
A felt-covered aluminum canteen with a cork stopper, with as-yet unidentified crystallized contents.
Several sections of ‘London Magazine’, including a racy story about Peggy who is about to marry a man who had a fling with her Aunt Bella, and Bella is scheming to break up the engagement. I’ll never know the outcome asI can’t turn the page!
11 small cotton ration bags, some containing dried figs, raisins, and cocoa. Elsewhere in the box were plum pits, tea, biscuits, and canned goods.
Disintegrating amber-colored sheets in situ in the box © AHT/Sarah