Location of the resting place of Isaac Israel Hayes, M.D.

Since 2006, three different seminar courses in American studies and Anthropology at Penn State University Abington College have sought to locate the birth and burial spots of four Arctic explorers all born in Pennsylvania.  Some of these, such as the birthplace of Robert E. Peary outside Altoona, PA, are relatively well-known, as of course is […]

The Open Polar Sea

Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in Arctic Visions | No Comments

One of the most persistent chimeras of nineteenth-century polar exploration, the belief in an “Open Polar Sea” was so widely-held that it was often taken as an article of faith. There is some evidence that the idea went back as far the the 16th century, but its modern history begins with a letter from whaling […]

Lady Jane Franklin

Posted by on Apr 13, 2013 in Bradford Scrapbooks | One Comment

Among the most notable signatures in William Bradford’s scrapbook is that of Lady Jane Franklin, the second wife of Sir John Franklin, a woman of indominable will and spirit, who through her efforts to find traces of her husband’s lost Arctic expedition, became the sponsor of several, and the inspiration for many other, Arctic expeditions […]

Bradford, Hayes, and Wasson

A recent discovery by Ethelind Wright at the University of Southern Maine has revealed that William Bradford’s ambition to make use of the lantern-slide versions of the Arctic views made under his supervision by Dunmore and Critcherson dates back much earlier than any of us working on the exhibit had realized. We’d always assumed that […]

Wilkie Collins

Among the more illustrious names found in the Bradford scrapbooks is that of the novelist and playwright Wilkie Collins (1824-1889). Collins, a close friend and protégé of Charles Dickens, was perhaps best known for his novel The Woman in White, which helped launch the genre of “sensation” fiction — fiction which included murders, scandalous behavior, and often […]