Photo Gallery: Images from the Arctic

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In 1881, the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition set out for the far North to spend two years recording scientific data. Sergeant George Rice was the official photographer on the team, and his images capture details of the men's lives in the vast, bleak Arctic landscape. When the party left Fort Conger August 1883 Rice took few more photos.||

The Proteus, a sealing vessel, sailed the 25 expedition members north to Lady Franklin Bay in the Arctic.

|Library of Congress;||

After unloading the cargo (background on right and left), the men built game stands on which to dry and cure their meat.


At Lady Franklin Bay, the crew immediately set to work building a permanent structure in which they would live after Proteus (in the background) departed in August.

|Library of Congress;||

Fort Conger, completed. Eskimo Jens, Lt. Greely, Cross and Lt. Kislingburg haul ice with sled dogs.

|Library of Congress;||

Lt. Greely's corner in Fort Conger. On the back of the photograph is written, "Lake. Oct. 15, 1881. The day the sun left." It would not rise again for 137 days.

|Library of Congress;||

James Lockwood's departure from Fort Conger to "Farthest North" in April 1882. Left to right are: Greely, Whistler, Brainard, Ralston, Frederick, Hery, Lockwood, Linn, Elison, Saler, Biederbeck, Connell.

|National Archives;||

1882. Expedition members with dogs and sleds about to head out into the desolate landscape. While at Lady Franklin Bay, the team could hunt without having to go too far from Fort Conger.

|Library of Congress;||

One of the two Eskimos on the expedition, Jens Edwards, returns from a hunt with a seal strapped to the sled.

|Library of Congress;||

1882. Jens and Dr. Octave Pavy skin a seal near Fort Conger.

|Library of Congress;||

June, 1882. Steward Henry Biederbick climbs up a wall of ice at the arctic shore.

|Library of Congress;||

August 1882. Sgt. Winfield Jewell takes meteorological observations at Fort Conger.

|Library of Congress;||

In 1883, after the expedition team left Fort Conger for the prescribed meeting point with the rescue party, Rice took no more photographs.

|Library of Congress

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