Ahead of Shackleton’s main crew though was a group of brave men, known as the Ross Sea Party, whose goal was to create vital depots of supplies for Shackleton to use along the way. While setting up depots was the main goal, a team photographer also took photos of the punishing adventure.
For almost a century, the resulting photos from the Ross Sea Party team has been stuck in Antarctica, frozen together inside a small box that lay inside the 1911 darkroom of expedition photographer Herbert Ponting.
The images have since been found though, and as part of the mission of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, the 22 cellulose nitrate negatives have been painstakingly brought back to life despite spending a century clumped together inside a box on the cold, barren block of ice that is Antarctica.
Understandably, the images have damaged over time, both from the fragile format used and the fact they had to be peeled apart from one another. But the Antarctic Heritage Trust team in New Zealand managed to pull together an incredible collection of never before seen images, presumed to be taken by expedition photographer Arnold Spencer-Smith—one of the three men of the Ross Sea Party to lose their lives.
Below are a few of the resulting images, battered and bruised, but still able to be seen a century after being captured on one of the most historic expeditions across Antarctica.
Image credits: © Antarctic Heritage Trust used with permission