Fram in Antarctica during Roald Amundsen's expedition
|Builder:||Colin Archer, Larvik, Norway|
|Out of service:||1912|
|Fate:||Preserved; on display at the Fram Museum, Oslo|
|Length:||127 ft 8 in (38.9 m)|
|Beam:||34 ft (10.36 m)|
|Draft:||15 ft (4.57 m)|
|Speed:||7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph)|
Fram ("Forward") is a ship that was used in expeditions of the Arctic and Antarctic regions by the Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup, Oscar Wisting, and Roald Amundsen between 1893 and 1912. It was designed and built by the Scottish-Norwegian shipwright Colin Archer for Fridtjof Nansen's 1893 Arctic expedition in which the plan was to freeze Fram into the Arctic ice sheet and float with it over the North Pole.
Fram is said[ by whom? ] to have sailed farther north (85°57'N) and farther south (78°41'S) than any other wooden ship. Fram is preserved at the Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway.
Nansen's ambition was to explore the Arctic farther north than anyone else. To do that, he would have to deal with a problem that many sailing on the polar ocean had encountered before him: the freezing ice could crush a ship. Nansen's idea was to build a ship that could survive the pressure, not by pure strength, but because it would be of a shape designed to let the ice push the ship up, so it would "float" on top of the ice.
Fram is a three-masted schooner with a total length of 39 meters and width of 11 meters. The ship is both unusually wide and unusually shallow in order to better withstand the forces of pressing ice.
Nansen commissioned the shipwright Colin Archer from Larvik to construct a vessel with these characteristics. Fram was built with an outer layer of greenheart wood to withstand the ice and with almost no keel to handle the shallow waters Nansen expected to encounter. The rudder and propeller were designed to be retracted. The ship was also carefully insulated to allow the crew to live on board for up to five years. The ship also included a windmill, which ran a generator to provide electric power for lighting by electric arc lamps.
Initially, Fram was fitted with a steam engine. Prior to Amundsen's expedition to the South Pole in 1910, the engine was replaced with a diesel engine, a first for polar exploration vessels.
The ship was launched on 26th October 1892.
Fram was used in several expeditions:
Wreckage found at Greenland from USS Jeannette, which was lost off Siberia, and driftwood found in the regions of Svalbard and Greenland, suggested that an ocean current flowed beneath the Arctic ice sheet from east to west, bringing driftwood from the Siberian region to Svalbard and further west. Nansen had Fram built in order to explore this theory.
He undertook an expedition that came to last three years. When Nansen realised that Fram would not reach the North Pole directly by the force of the current, he and Hjalmar Johansen set out to reach it on skis. After reaching 86° 14' north, he had to turn back to spend the winter at Franz Joseph Land. Nansen and Johansen survived on walrus and polar bear meat and blubber. Finally meeting British explorers, the Jackson-Harmsworth Expedition, they arrived back in Norway only days before the Fram also returned there. The ship had spent nearly three years trapped in the ice, reaching 85° 57' N.
In 1898, Otto Sverdrup, who had brought Fram back on the first Arctic voyage, led a scientific expedition to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Fram was slightly modified for this journey, its freeboard being increased. Fram left harbour on 24 June 1898, with 17 men on board. Their aim was to chart the lands of the Arctic Islands, and to sample the geology, flora and fauna. The expeditions lasted till 1902, leading to charts covering 260,000 km2, more than any other Arctic expedition.
Fram was used by Roald Amundsen in his southern polar expedition from 1910 to 1912, the first to reach the South Pole, during which Fram reached 78° 41' S.
The ship was left to decay in storage from 1912 until the late 1920s, when Lars Christensen, Otto Sverdrup and Oscar Wisting initiated efforts to preserve her. In 1935, the ship was installed in the Fram Museum, where she now stands.
List of Antarctic exploration ships from the Heroic Age, 1897–1922
Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, traversing the island on cross-country skis. He won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his Fram expedition of 1893–1896. Although he retired from exploration after his return to Norway, his techniques of polar travel and his innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.
Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions and a key figure of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. He led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage by sea, from 1903 to 1906, and the first expedition to the South Pole in 1911. He led the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole in a dirigible in 1926. He disappeared while taking part in a rescue mission for the airship Italia in 1928.
Fredrik Hjalmar Johansen was a Norwegian polar explorer. He participated on the first and third Fram expeditions. He shipped out with the Fridtjof Nansen expedition in 1893–1896, and accompanied Nansen to notch a new Farthest North record near the North Pole. Johansen also participated in the expedition of Roald Amundsen to the South Pole in 1910–1912.
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Otto Neumann Knoph Sverdrup was a Norwegian sailor and Arctic explorer.
Oscar Adolf Wisting was a Norwegian Naval officer and polar explorer. Together with Roald Amundsen he was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles.
Helmer Julius Hanssen was a Norwegian sailor, pilot and polar explorer. He participated in three of the polar expeditions led by Roald Amundsen and was one of the first five explorers to reach the South Pole.
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Jørgen Stubberud was a Norwegian polar explorer who participated in the Amundsen Antarctica Expedition between 1910 and 1912.
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Nansen's Fram expedition of 1893–1896 was an attempt by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen to reach the geographical North Pole by harnessing the natural east–west current of the Arctic Ocean. In the face of much discouragement from other polar explorers, Nansen took his ship Fram to the New Siberian Islands in the eastern Arctic Ocean, froze her into the pack ice, and waited for the drift to carry her towards the pole. Impatient with the slow speed and erratic character of the drift, after 18 months Nansen and a chosen companion, Hjalmar Johansen, left the ship with a team of dogs and sledges and made for the pole. They did not reach it, but they achieved a record Farthest North latitude of 86°13.6′N before a long retreat over ice and water to reach safety in Franz Josef Land. Meanwhile, Fram continued to drift westward, finally emerging in the North Atlantic Ocean.
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