PHOTOS FROM SHACKLETON'S ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION DAVID (Sir (Tannatt William) Edgeworth, 1858-1934, Professor of Geology at Sydney, 1891-1924, Antarctic Explorer)

Autograph Letter Signed to 'My dear Sir', thanking him "for your very kind offer of a slab of clay shale containing fossil impressions of 'Glossopteris'", the tongue-like leaves of an extinct fossil tree of the Permian Period, "It will be I am sure a valuable addition to our Collection of fossils at the University", and saying "The bearer James Smith will bring the specimen up to the University if you will kindly let him", with a set of 7 photographs connected with Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909, in which Edgeworth David went as scientist, 5 prints (including one duplicate) show David, in suit and hat, with others, looking round the Nimrod in Sydney Harbour, where he joined the expedition, and 2 prints show the grand gathering in the Great Hall of Sydney University, to welcome the expedition back, one showing a sled and some of the clothing worn, the letter 1 side 8vo., University of Sydney, 1st October 1891, mounted on a display board 20" x 16", the prints 4" x 2½" (5), 1907, and 3½" x 5½" (2), on a second board 20" x 15¼",

The distribution of Glossopteris (then thought to be a fern) led Eduard Suess to propose in 1885 the existence of 'Gondwanaland', the super-continent, which led to Wegener's theory of Continental Drift,1912, which David supported (rather than Suess' flooding).
Edgeworth David, born in Wales, went out in 1882 as assistant geological surveyor of New South Wales, preparing valuable maps relating to tin, fossils, petroleum, underground water and coal. The present letter is at the beginning of his appointment as professor. Making an opportunity to go with Shackleton, he was the first to reach the South Magnetic Pole, and also to climb Mt. Erebus, the active volcano. His lectures on his return made him widely known in Australia. During WWI he led a band of skilled Australian miners who helped blow up the famous Messines Ridge, south of Ypres. He returned in 1920 to work on his Geological Map of the Commonwealth of Australia (1931), travelling far and wide and obtaining information from farmers and miners as well as professional scientists. Such was the regard for him that he was given a state funeral.

Item Date:  1909

Stock No:  55970      £2750

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