A Postal History Gallery of Related Events


A Polar Symposium in Stockholm

Gerard and Ebba De Geer were members of the 1910 International Geologic Congress and joined a group of the scientists on an excursion to Spitzbergen in August 1910. They were support persons to several expeditions of the period.



Roald Amundsen

Amundsen's South Pole to the North Pole Polar Drift Voyage


Following Roald Amundsen's attainment of the South Pole in 1913, Amundsen planned an eight year polar drift. The first step was a passage through the new Panama Canal, but construction delays prevented it. Amundsen returned to Norway where he became successful in War Construction, and then returned with a new boat, the MAUD, in 1918 to set out on his original polar drift plan.

This bi-polar cover was protected, somehow, after mailing it from New Zealand. It was carried throughout the entire voyage and received postal markings through 1924.


A Boat Designed to Rise When the Ice Squeezed


Roald Amundsen designed the MAUD to resist the ice and drift over the pole. It became locked in the ice from 1918 to 1924 without achieving its objective.

Post cards with various art scenes were sold as a fund raising devise. The location designated in the cancellation varied from time to time, but it is unlikely that all the cards were actually carried on the trip. Personal mail was taken off the ship periodically by crew members who returned to civilization. All mail carried the same markings.


Roald Amundsen carried two aircraft on his MAUD expedition, however the undercarriage of the planes did not hold up in the rough landings. The limited flights were franked on private labels. Flight mail was carried to Seattle from Nome and placed in regular delivery service.


To Support His Polar Work

Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth flew two Dornier flying boats to 87° 44' N latitude in 1924. After landing to check their position, the ice shifted and trapped them for 25 days.

A two-sided card was printed as a fund raising devise and was franked by Norwegian stamps authorized to support Amundsen's work.

A Commercial Venture in 1919

The days of exploration gave way to a commercial venture in 1919 as Captain John Bartlett sought help getting a good boat from the Grenfell Mission.



Official Report
March 31, 1922

Attention: Mr. Krassinsky, Sales Representative of the Council for Work and Defense attached to the Northern Sea Route.

Please let us know in London by diplomatic couriers or by telegram the details of the organization of the KARA EXPEDITION. If you intend to use foreign credits, you should do it immediately. Please advise what you have already done.