Forced March Tablets


“Cocaine was dripped in the eye to cure snowblindness, and chalk ground up with opium was used for diarrhoea. No antibiotics in 1907 of course. Perhaps the only medications that Shackleton carried that we would still use today were aspirin and morphine.” — Gavin Francis

More on polar medicine in the Heroic Age:
“Shackleton’s Medical Kit” by Gavin Francis in Granta
“Cocaine for Snowblindness” by Maria Godoy in NPR
“Drugs in History and Culture” by Joanna Bourke in The Lancet

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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