Monday, February 08, 2010

Shackleton's Whiskey Found in Antarctica

I love this story: Century-old whiskey abandoned by explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton has been discovered buried in ice in Antarctica.

Crates of scotch and brandy were left behind by Shackleton's 1909 expedition when they were forced to abandon an attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole.

The distillery which made the whiskey hopes to analyze the contents to reproduce the original recipe, which had been lost.

A 1914 Shackleton expedition became famous when the crew was marooned in Antarctica for nearly two years, amazingly without any loss of life. The story is told in some excellent books, including THE ENDURANCE by Caroline Alexander, a superb book which spotlights the stunning black and white photographs taken during the expedition by Frank Hurley.

We were fortunate to see the photographs, made from glass plates, at an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum a few years ago. Hurley performed what some have called "the world's greatest editing job" as he had little time to decide which of the heavy glass plates to save and which to abandon. The pictures are works of art, as crisp and clear as if they'd just been taken.

The story of the 1914 expedition was told in the film SHACKLETON (2002) with Kenneth Branagh in the title role.


Blogger la peregrina said...

Interesting. I saw an collection of Shackleton artifacts at the New York American Museum of Natural History years ago which included the boat he used to sail to South Georgia Island. I was stunned by how small it was and the fact that those men sail across open sea in it. Seeing it made me realized just what an amazing accomplishment their feat really was.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I would have loved to see that exhibit. It sounds wonderful.

For those who are interested, a number of people have studied Shackleton's leadership skills over the years and how it made the difference in the crew's survival against high odds. Here is one example, a paper written for a Wharton MBA program.

Best wishes,

8:05 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Laura, I'm glad you reviewed this, too. Shackleton's story was unbelievably intriguing, grueling and simply unbelievable.

7:25 PM  
Blogger la peregrina said...

Ohh, thanks for the link, Laura. :)

8:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older