Many a wise face would look foolish without specs


“The interview was very brief —

‘Why do you want to go?’

‘I don’t know, I just want to.’

‘You look fit enough are you perfectly healthy…?’

‘Perfectly fit.’

‘What is wrong with your eyes?’


“At this I could have kicked myself for not removing my spectacles before going in to see him. I scarecely knew what to say, but replied almost without thinking, ‘Many a wise face would look foolish without specs.’ At this he laughed, then seemed to be thinking of something else for he remained silent for several mintues. ‘All right, I’ll take you,’ he said and with that pushed me out of his office.”

— Alexander Macklin

Posted in Images, Other Voices

Magnetician and Physicist


“‘Gentle Jimmy’ was the expedition’s magnetician and physicist. Macklin wrote that he had: ‘some wonderful electrical machines which none of us understood…and a joke of ours that annoyed him very much was that he did not either.’”

“Like many of the men who were to join the Endurance, James joined almost by accident after hearing about the position from someone else. In his case, he was walking down a Cambridge street while a postgraduate student at the Cavendish laboratory, when a man James had met, but didn’t know very well called him from his window and asked if he was interested in going to Antarctica. James gave no as an answer, but was eventually convinced and so his name was given to the Master Christ’s College Cambridge, Sir Arthur Shipley who had been asked by Shackleton to recommend scientific staff. Shipley interviewed James and a few weeks later James attended an interview in London with Shackleton.

“After 5 minutes, the interview was over — ‘All that I can clearly remember of it is that I was asked if I had good teeth, if I suffered from varicose veins, and if I could sing.’ James was appointed the Expedition’s Physicist.”

Posted in Images, Other Voices

Leonard Hussey


“He called for me, looked me up and down, walked up and down when he was talking to me, didn’t seem to take any notice. Finally he said, ‘Yes, I like you, I’ll take you.’ He told me afterwards he took me because he thought I looked funny!”

— Leonard Hussey

“Leonard Hussey, an irrepressible, peppery little individual, was signed on as meteorologist even though he had practically no qualifications for the position at the time. Shackleton simply thought Hussey ‘looked funny,’ and the fact that he had recently returned from an expedition (as an anthropologist) to the torrid Sudan appealed to Shackleton’s sense of whimsy. Hussey immediately took an intensive course on meteorology and later proved to be very proficient.”

Alfred Lansing, Endurance

More on Hussey at

Posted in Images, Other Voices

Neptune’s own way about the waves


Frank Worsley with sextant [link]

Posted in Images

Worsley, 1903


Frank Worsley, 1903 []

Posted in Images

Frank Worsley, Captain


“Temperamentally, Shackleton and Worsley had some of the same characteristics. Both were energetic, imaginative, romantic men who thirsted for adventure. But while Shackleton’s nature drove him always to be the leader, Worsley had no such inclinations. He was fundamentally light-hearted, given to bursts of excitement and unpredictable enthusiasms.”

Alfred Lansing, Endurance

Posted in Images, Other Voices

Wall Street abhors such crimes


“[While] Wall Street abhors such crimes, [the archduke] was an exceedingly unpopular prince.”
— Wall Street Journal, June 30, 1914 [See enlargement]

Posted in Images, Other Voices