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Goggles

Expedition: British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod)
Materials: glass, metal, textile
Dimensions: 135mm (width), 37mm (height), 22mm (depth)
Date: 1907-1909
Ref no: N: 69b

A pair of modified wire gauze snow goggles with dark lenses, found to be unsatisfactory due to a lack of ventilation. Used on the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod), led by Ernest Shackleton. One of two pairs (N: 69a-b).

Physical description:

A delicate pair of snow goggles with dark lenses. They consist of two eye pieces joined by a bridge over the nose which is fixed to each eye piece with a bolt, washer and wire loop. The goggles are made of very fine wire gauze which has been covered on the outside with pieces of fabric tape which have been coated with something. Additional smaller pieces of tape have been added around the lenses. According to the accession register, the wire gauze sides did not give sufficient protection from the glare and so were covered – but the result was unsatisfactory owing to lack of ventilation. The nose bridge and metal frames have been covered in fabric in order to prevent the metal touching the face and causing frostbite. The goggles would be tied round the head by means of two long, dark brown, fabric tape straps 15mm in width, which have been crudely sewn to the goggles, suggesting replacement/repair.

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