Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “Fram

The Norwegian Arctic exploration ship Fram in ice; ca. 1894


The windmill was actually very practical and a major component of their planning before the trip. It was used to generate electricity to power lighting. Since they were going for so long it helped alleviate the necessity to bring large stocks of oil for lamps especially since space was at a premium.

This ship spent three years 1893-1896 stuck ice trying to get to the North Pole on this expedition. She would later take two additional multi year expeditions into the arctic. She is now a museum ship. She holds the record for getting the furthest north out of any wooden hulled ship. Of course that’s a record that is getting easier and easier to break each year with the receding polar ice caps.


The record of a voyage of exploration of the ship “Fram” 1893-96 (and of a fifteen months’ sleigh journey by Dr. Nansen and Lieut. Johansen):

Farthest North, Vol. I by Fridtjof Nansen

Farthest North, Vol. II by Fridtjof Nansen


Nansen’s ship ‘Fram’, held in ice; March 1894.

"The ship also included a windmill, which ran a generator to provide electric power for lighting by electric arc lamps."

“The ship also included a windmill, which ran a generator to provide electric power for lighting by electric arc lamps.”

More information about the expedition:

The idea for the expedition had arisen after items from the American vessel Jeannette, which had sunk off the north coast of Siberia in 1881, were discovered three years later off the south-west coast of Greenland. The wreckage had obviously been carried across the polar ocean, perhaps across the pole itself. Based on this and other debris recovered from the Greenland coast, the meteorologist Henrik Mohn developed a theory of transpolar drift, which led Nansen to believe that a specially designed ship could be frozen in the pack ice and follow the same track as the Jeannette wreckage, thus reaching the vicinity of the pole.

Nansen supervised the construction of a vessel with a rounded hull and other features designed to withstand prolonged pressure from ice. The ship was rarely threatened during her long imprisonment, and emerged unscathed after three years. The scientific observations carried out during this period contributed significantly to the new discipline of oceanography, which subsequently became the main focus of Nansen’s scientific work. Fram’s drift and Nansen’s sledge journey proved conclusively that there were no significant land masses between the Eurasian continents and the North Pole, and confirmed the general character of the north polar region as a deep, ice-covered sea. Although Nansen retired from exploration after this expedition, the methods of travel and survival he developed with Johansen influenced all the polar expeditions, north and south, which followed in the subsequent three decades.