Apr 16, 2013 - Sale 2310

Sale 2310 - Lot 49

Price Realized: $ 938
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(ARCTIC.) Photographic archive of Byrd and Amundsen's race to the North Pole at Spitsbergen. 37 photographs, each 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches; minor wear; sleeved in a small loose-leaf binder. [Spitsbergen, May 1926]

Additional Details

In May 1926, two teams of aviators were competing for the honor of the first flight over the North Pole. Both teams were preparing for departure simultaneously from the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. The American team was led by naval commander Richard E. Byrd in the plane Josephine Ford, while a European team included Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile in their airship Norge. Byrd's plane left on 9 May and returned the same day, claiming victory; his claim has been met with increasing skepticism over the years. Amundsen's group left three days later, continuing on to Alaska as proof that they had reached the pole.
These photographs were taken on Spitsbergen as Byrd and Amundsen prepared for departure. The race was covered by the international press, but these images appear to be unpublished, and the photographer is unknown. Several of these images show Byrd and his pilot Floyd Bennett preparing for their flight. The Josephine Ford can be seen in 11 of the photographs. Though Amundsen and Nobile cannot be seen, their airship can be seen in 5 photographs.