Sunday, July 17, 2016

The 100th Anniversary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Australian Antarctic Territory

Hello to all the Sunday Stampers out there, to all interested in stamps, to all interested in science and well, to just anyone who has ended up here for one reason or another :).

For today we are talking about science on Sunday Stamps and here comes my contribution to it - 3 FDCs from the Australian Antarctic Territory commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (they are indeed issued by the Australian Post but for that AAT branch).

This was an Australasian scientific team that explored part of Antarctica between 1911 and 1914. It was led by the Australian geologist Douglas Mawson (the guy on the stamp at the very right on the above FDC), who was knighted for his achievements in leading the expedition.
In 1910 he began to plan an expedition to chart the 3,200 km-long coastline of Antarctica to the south of Australia. The Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science approved of his plans and contributed substantial funds for the expedition.
Accomplishments were made in geology, glaciology and terrestrial biology, unlike both of Ernest Shackleton's following expeditions which produced very little science. In a celebration of the achievements of Mawson and his men, a centenary scientific voyage, retracing the route of the original expedition, departed from Australasia in late 2013 and became stuck on 24 December 2013.
The team selected for the expedition came primarily from universities in Australia and New Zealand (there were also three British and one Swiss).

A fun fact: In order to maintain morale over the prolonged period of isolation Archibald McLean (Australian bacteriologist known for his role as chief doctor during this expedition) hit upon the idea of publishing their own newspaper to keep the confined men entertained. Expedition members contributed poetry, short fiction, and literary criticism as well as scientific articles and accounts of their daily activities. The result was the Adelie Blizzard which had five issues between April and October in 1913. They were never officially published for the general public until almost 100 years had passed when a facsimile edition was produced.

With regards to these issues, the first and the third FDC were issued on 18 February 2014, while the middle one was issued on 10 September 2013 - why is this I really have no idea. They've all been designed by Andrew Hogg though.

For more science from around the world, check out today's edition of Sunday Stamps!


  1. A lovely set of FDCs. The Adelie Blizzard reminded me of the title of Mawson's book, Home of the Blizzard. I downloaded it some time ago after being intrigued by some quotes from it but have yet to read.

  2. Beautiful FDC's, and it is amazing that people traveled to such cold harsh places to do research. A really nice fact, the newspaper. which sure must have revealed some talents of these men and thus enlarged the bound between them.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. *amazing that they traveled a *century* ago to these places, without GPS, satellites and so on!..

  4. Great FDC on a really important scientific expedition.

  5. Love these FDC. And now I want to read the Adelie Blizzard!