Tailoring at the South Pole

A brief look into some of the clothing designs worn by the men of Robert Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition, found on Google Books in a tailoring journal published in 1913:

“Some Particulars of the Clothing Outfits of the British Antarctic Expedition, Which Were Specially Designed Under the Personal Direction of the late Captain Scott.”

Whatever may have been the cause or causes of the tragic termination of the venture of the devoted band that succeeded in reaching the South Pole, only to find that the object already had been gained by a more fortunate explorer, it seems certain that the special clothing which had been produced in accordance with Captain Scott’s own carefully planned instructions was in no way responsible for the disaster. Both the material and the garments were apparently fully equal to the great and unusual strain to which they were subjected. For, writing from the winter quarters of his ship, the Terra Nova, soon after the arrival of the party at Cape Evans, January 23rd, 1911, Captain Scott expresses his satisfaction with this part of his equipment in a letter to the manufacturers which reads as follows:

Winter Quarters, Cape Evans, 23rd January, 1911

Dear Sirs,
I have much pleasure in informing you that the Mandelberg Wind Proof Clothing and Tent Material supplied by you to this Expedition has been highly satisfactory up to the present. I enclose some photographs showing your clothing and tent material in use in the Antarctic regions which may be of interest to you.

Yours very truly,
R. Scott
Captain R.N. (Commanding British Antarctic Expedition, 1910)

It’s arguable that the more fortunate explorer referenced above, Roald Amundsen, had planned and prepared better (especially with clothing, equipment, and food). Continue reading more.


“Robert Falcon Scott’s Pole party of his ill-fated expedition, from left to right at the Pole: Oates (standing), Bowers (sitting), Scott (standing in front of Union Jack flag on pole), Wilson (sitting), Evans (standing). Bowers took this photograph, using a piece of string to operate the camera shutter.” [wikipedia]

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