En Route to Antarctica

Ship image : 7821_29  Caption:  City of New York, 1928Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7821_29

Ship image: 7820_21  Caption:  City of New York and the Bolling alongside the Ross Ice Barrier, 1928, Richard E. Byrd Papers #7820_21

Ship image: 7820_2  Caption: Larsen in the Ice, Bolling approachingJanuary 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers #7820_2

Ship image: 7757_1 CaptionAerial view of the City of New York at the bay ice in the Bay of Whales, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers #7757_1

Image of the C of NY Log book:  Log cover    Caption: Steamship Log Book, City of New York, New York to Bay of Whales, via Panama, Tahiti and Dunedin, N.Z., 1928 and 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5444.

Little America

#7801_3  Little America tents.  Caption: Tent camp at Little America, 1928, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7801_3.

#7820_10 Little America.    Caption:  The City of New York, unloading at the Bay of Whales, 1928Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7820_10.

#7788_2 Little America boxes.   Caption:  The food boxes were lined up to form tunnels, and eventually would be completely covered by snow, Little America, 1928Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7788_2.

#7802_2 Little America.  Caption:  Little America in the making, 1928 Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7802_2.

#7803_2 Little America  Caption:  The Mess Hall, with the Norwegian House in the rear, under construction.  These houses were soon covered with snow. 1928 Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7803_2. 

#7801_15 Little America  Caption: The three radio towers at Little America, 1929,Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7801_15.

#7810_32 Little America, raising the flag  Caption: The colors of the United States in Antarctica, 1928Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7810_32

Fur Coat Acc#20007.   Caption:  Hooded fur parka and boots, ca. 1920s.  Byrd Miscellany, Accession #20007.  Although the provenance of these items is uncertain, the donor believed that these belonged to Richard E. Byrd. 

Cup2  Caption:  Paper cup, Byrd Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole, 1928.  Byrd Miscellany, Accession #200010.   The supplies needed for the expedition were extensive, and included not only the big things such as planes and food, but the mundane daily items such as this cup.  Many manufacturers donated supplies to the expedition in exchange for publicity. 

#4457 Holiday Card, card1_4457 & card2_4457  Caption:  Holiday Card with inscription by Gustav Brown, captain of the S.S. Eleanor Bolling, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #4457.  

Exploration from the Air

#7763_18  Caption:  Crew members dig out the “Floyd Bennett” from its snowy hangar, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7763_18.

#7764_13  Caption:  Harold June, Commander Byrd, and Bernt Balchen, in front of the Fairchild airplane, Stars and Stripes.   Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7764_13.

#7774_2  Caption: Schematic of the Fairchild.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7774_2.

#7773_18  Caption:  The planes had to be assembled once the expedition reached Antarctica.  This image shows Byrd and his dog Igloo, unpacking crates, with the City of New York and the Bolling in the background, 1928.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, 7773_18.

#7763_4  Caption:  Victim of the wind’s fury, the Fokker after it was destroyed by a blizzard at the base of the Rockefeller Mountains, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, 7763_4.

Only the Best Men

#7806_2  Caption:  Ashley McKinley, aerial surveyor and third in command, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7806_2

Personnel_4552 Caption:  Personnel list for the Ice Party, Byrd Antarctic Expedition I, 1928-1930.   Richard E. Byrd Papers, #4552.

7806_5  Caption:  Daily life during the long Antarctic night, some of the crew passing the time, 1929.   Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7806_5

7810_33  Caption:  The crew of the Eleanor Bolling, 1928.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7810_33.

7813_2  Caption:  Dr. Francis Dana Coman, Surgeon and Biologist, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7813_2.

7813_5  Caption:  Carl O. Petersen in the newspaper office at Little America, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7813_5

7809_38  Caption:  Man hauling in the frigid Antarctic night, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7809_38.

7806_6  Caption:  In the mess hall, Little America, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7806_6

Boy Scout 1_1196  Caption:  1928 letter from Chief Scout Executive James West, inviting boy scout applicants for the Byrd Expedition, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #1196. 

Boy Scout 2_1196  (above item, page 2)

Boy Scout3_1196  (above item, page 3)

Boy Scout4_1196  (above item, page 4)

Boy Scouts_1209  Caption:  Evaluation sheet for Paul Siple, the boy scout selected to accompany the Byrd expedition, 1928, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #1209.  The boy scout organization was responsible for selecting the winner. 

7811_43   Caption:  Paul Siple, 1928,  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7811_43.  Siple was only 19 years old when he accompanied the expedition.

Siple 4430 Caption:  Telegram of August 4, 1928, from James West, Chief Scout 
Executive, to the six boy scouts selected as finalists in the competition to go with Byrd’s expedition to Antaractica, 
Richard E. Byrd Papers, #4430.

The South Pole Flight

7773_14  Caption:  From left, Harold June, Byrd, and Ashley McKinley, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7773_14.

bsuncompass1  Caption:  Bumstead Sun Compass, ca. 1920s, designed by Albert Bumstead of the National Geographic Society, Richard E. Byrd Papers, Box 449.  The sun compass was an essential navigation tool, and designed specifically for Byrd. 

7710_5  Caption:  Albert Bumstead showing Byrd how to use the sun compass, ca. 1925, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7710_5.

deadreckoning_5346  Caption:  Dead Reckoning for Polar Flight, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5346.  Dead reckoning is the navigational process of estimating your position by advancing a known position using course, speed, time and distance to be traveled.  In other words, figuring out where you will be at a certain time if you hold the speed, time and course you plan to travel (Source:  www.dirauxannex.org/Nav1.html).

enginelog_5346  Caption:  Engine Log for Polar Flight, by Bernt Balchen, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5346.

weight_5346  Caption:  Chart, Consumption Cruising Speed, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5346.  The weight of the plane and all supplies on board was of concern.  Byrd and the flight crew knew that the performance of the plane was directly related to its weight.  Even with this careful planning, part of the load still had to be thrown overboard in order to get the plane above the mountains.

route map_5344  Caption:  Chart of Route Flown by Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd from Little America to the South Pole, on Nov. 28-29, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5344.  This chart is from the report presented by Byrd to the National Geographic Society.

note of pilot 2_5346  Caption:  Must Soon Turn North, handwritten note from the South Pole Flight, November 29, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5346.  The noise in the plane was so loud, the men communicated with notes.

note of pilot 1_5346  Caption:  If we can’t we will have to dump some load, handwritten note from the South Pole Flight, November 29, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5346.  The weight of the airplane was of serious concern as they approached the mountains.  In fact, they did have to dump some load, and sent bags of food overboard to lighten the airplane.

log_5346  Caption: South Pole Flight Log, November 29, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5346.  The entry for 1400 hours indicates that they have reached the vicinity of the South Pole.

7778_1  Caption:  Byrd in the library of Little America, prior to the South Pole flight, with a stone from Floyd Bennett’s grave, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7778_1.  Byrd dropped the stone, wrapped in the small American flag, from the plane when they were over the South Pole, in honor of his pilot of the North Pole expedition of 1926. 

7753_3  Caption:  Over the hump, the South Polar plane over the head of the pass of Liv’s Glacier on the way to the Pole, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7753_3.  Altitude about 10,500 feet.  The top of Mount Nansen, at left, is 15,000 feet high. 

7753_4  Caption:  The crevasses at Latitude 82 degrees 12 south, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7753_4.

7754_6  Caption:  Pressure ridge on Bay of Whales near Little America, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7754_6.

7754_10.  Caption:  Pressure ridges, with Little America in the background, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7754_10.

Film clip with flight preparations and take off

The Geological Party

Matches  Caption:  Matches from the cairn left by Roald Amundsen in 1911, and discovered by the geological party, 1929,  Richard E. Byrd Papers.

7789_1  Caption:  Fully loaded sledge, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7789_1.

7788_4  Caption:  One of the sled dogs taking a much deserved break, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7788_4.

7788_3  Caption:  The tractor party with Mt. Grace McKinley in the background, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7788_3.  The bicycle wheel on the sledge is used for measuring trail mileage.

7782_2  Caption:  Navigating over the ice with a dog team was at times difficult and dangerous, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7782_2.

7809_26  Caption:  The geological party upon returning to Little America, January, 1930.  From left: Mike Thorne, Admiral Byrd, Larry Gould, Jack OBrien, Norman Vaughan, and Eddie Goodale.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7809_26.

Film clip with sled dogs 

7801_14  Caption:  Campsite along the trail, 1929.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7801_14.

The Hero Business

#8011_1  Caption:  City after city acclaimed Byrd for his achievements when he returned from Antaractica, as in this ticker tape parade in Boston, ca. 1930.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #8011_1.

Clover_5433  Caption:  Good Luck letter from Edith Sanford, Los Angeles, CA., with four-leaf clover, ca. 1928, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5433.  One example of the hundreds of  well-wishes sent to Byrd.  Note that Ms. Sanford misspoke and refers to Byrd’s upcoming Arctic, rather than Antarctic, expedition. 

Radiogram2_5432  Caption:  Radiogram from Lincoln Ellsworth to Byrd, October 8, 1928, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5432.  Well wishes came from not only the public, but also from other explorers. 

Letter_2901  Caption: Letter from Amelia Earhart to Byrd, July 30, 1928, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #2901.  Amelia Earhart pledged not only her good wishes, but also money she earned from a cigarette ad, to Byrd’s Antarctic Expedition.

Radiogram_5041  Caption:  Radiogram from Charles Lindbergh to Byrd, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5041.  Although Lindbergh and Byrd were considered competitors, their relationship was also one of mutual respect, as shown by this radiogram from Lindbergh thanking Byrd for naming an inlet in the Bay of Whales for him.

Poster  Bridgeport leather  Caption:  Commemorative poster to Bridgeport Leather Specialty Co., Inc., signed by Richard Byrd and James Bush, chairman of Bridgeport Leather, 1930.  Byrd Miscellany, Accession #200214.   Bridgeport Leather Specialty Company equipped the Byrd expedition with 120 pairs of jersey gloves.  Many companies donated items to the expedition in exchange for the publicity they received. 

Mom’s letter1_5346   Caption:  Excerpt of letter from Byrd’s mother to Byrd, undated, ca. 1928.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #5346.  Transcription:  My splendid son, I am very proud of you and I am thankful God has given me men for sons who can do something in the world.  You were perfectly right to go and I believe few men in the world could carry this expectation through as you will.  I shall live in hopes you will find something in this frozen world worth having   Byrd was heroic in the eyes of most, including his mother.

Book cover_3968  Caption:  Book, Paramount Newsreel Men with Admiral Byrd in Little America, 1934.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #3968.  In addition to the film Paramount produced, they also published this book documenting the experiences of the film crew on the expedition.

Video cover  Caption:  With Byrd at the South Pole, video cover.   Some thirty miles of film was shot in Antarctica to make the final 82-minute production. 

Byrd Prize Letter Contest

#4386_Byrd Prize Letter  Caption:  Flier, Byrd Prize Letter Contest, 1930.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #4386.

#4104  Caption:  Letter by Thornton Oakley, of Villa Nova, Pennsylvania, 1930, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #4104.  Mr. Oakley’s letter won the first prize award.

#4852  Caption:  Letter by James A. Michener, 1930, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #4852.  Michener was a young school teacher at the time he entered the contest.  Although his letter was not a prize winner, Michener would win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction seventeen years later. 

book cover Little America 

Byrd’s Legacy

Admiral_4552  Caption:  Document of promotion of Byrd to Rear-Admiral by Congress, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #4552. 

Memorandum_4552  Caption:  Memorandum by Richard E. Byrd, December 11, 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #4552.   Byrd’s memo to the members of the expedition concerning his possible promotion to Admiral after the South Pole Flight, in which he stresses the importance of all members of the expedition.

Coin  Caption:  Commemorative medal, First to Fly over the South Pole, 1930, Byrd Miscellany, Accession #19967.  This medal was presented to all members of the expedition.

7791_2  Caption:  The beauty of the Antarctic landscape, ca. 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7791.  This image shows the south side of a small glacier at 86 degrees south.

7766_3  Caption:  Emperor Penguins, ca. 1929, Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7791. 

7639_10  Caption:  Richard E. Byrd, ca. 1930.  Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7639_10.