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    Description

    1928-30 Byrd Antarctic Expedition- Chief Engineer Thomas B. Mulroy's Personal Diary for 1929 contained in a lined journal, 5" x 7.75", hardbound in white cloth. The covers have been trimmed probably to fit into the leather cover that is being sold with the 1928/30 journal offered also in this sale. As we pick up this fascinating first-hand account of one of the most famous of all 20th century exploration expeditions, Byrd, Mulroy and the rest of the team are in the Bay of Whales, an inlet of the Ross Ice Shelf where the Little America camp was set up. A few brief excerpts from this excellent account:

    January 1 - "Well heres the beginning of another year and far far away...It sure is fine weather. I shall celebrate Jan 1931 at home. Next one will be in Little America"
    January 2 - "...Still transferring equipment to base, the dogs are doing fine...Commander back to-day from camp, telling us it is a fine little place, about 8 miles from ship..."
    January 6 - "...Working like hell unloading the ship, we have one gang unloading the ship, one transporting the loads and one receiving at the base..."
    January 8 - "...Fell in again to-day but only up to my hips...Mike Thorne went snow blind to-day he is the 2nd now..."
    January 10 - "Well its here, one of those blizzards you read about. Its blowing & snowing so dam [sic] hard you can not see 10 feet in front of you..."
    January 15 - "Well to-day was the day, the first airplane flight to be made in the Antarctic..."
    January 18 - "A penguin hearing the roar of the motor jumps out of the water & was wableling [sic] up in the back blast...we thought we would die laughing at it being rolled over & over..."
    February 14 - "Well this is one day I won't get any comic Valentines or love ones either..."
    February 22 - "I received orders to turn dept.over to O'Brien and move to the base, which a few did not like to see it, there are quite a bit of jealousy in the expedition..."
    February 23 - "Little America- cold as hell. Well here we are at our home for the next year and how crowded we are..."
    March 6 - "...What I'm trying to figure out who is going to make the trip to the pole Byrd or De Gonahl..."
    March 13 - "...got all hands for the Barrier, 13 all toll [sic] which we shoveled over 8000 cubic yards of snow looking for our gear buried under the snow. Byrd is now realizing the need of all hands out..."
    March 31 - "Easter Sunday a beautiful day down here...a day rest which we all needed very much. Byrd has agreed to give us at least 1 day a week rest..."
    April 6 - "...O'Brien & myself put up a 1100 ft antenna for a better radio reception..."
    May 1 - "...Owens is the most laziest and useless S of B on the expedition it would give me great pleasure to plant him out on the Barrier"
    May 23
    - "Had the most wonderful circle around the moon last night having all the colors in it of the rainbow it sure is interesting to see the wonders of Nature down here..."
    June 21 - "...never know what it is like to be confined in a place where it is so cold & bleak or dangerous to walk a little way from camp..."
    July 2 - "Clear and cold and how it is, so cold & clear that stars look like diamonds in the sky the way they sparkle, my kerosene froze on me to-day..."
    July 11 - "Still cold as hell & very clear...making it impossible to go out even Byrd turned down his daily walk to-day some thing he has not done for some time in all weather..."
    August 19 - "...Owens was complaining to me to-day he was terrible bored with ever [sic] body here, Comdr. warned me to look out for him now as he'll cut my throat behind my back...."
    August 21 - "I thought Parker was a friend of mine but I have found out lately he is very much a two face..."
    September 1 - "...another month & 5 more months and we'll be on our way out of this place. I don't think there'll be many tears shedded [sic]..."
    October 1- "Average temp. for last month was -44.1° a record..."
    November 5 - "Hurrah! heard Mayor Walker was reelected Mayor of N.Y.C."
    November 11 - "...finished testing all the motors on the Ford which sure started fine (I might say on the first cranking) after all these months of laying idle..."
    November 28 - "At 11:30 PM standing by for the report that they are over the South Pole..."
    November 29 - "...Up dam [sic] near all night listening to the radio as a matter of fact no one slept at all around here then we received word he circled the pole & left for home at 1:25 AM..."
    December 2 - "...Comdr received a wire from Senator Swanson of Va. offering him an admirals rating, we have half talked into excepting [sic] it..."
    December 31 - "...so this is the last day of old 1929 to kill some time took a ski trip out to West Cape to see our old friend the ice berg!...its a cold looking object just like some women I know...Well A Happy New Year the party proved to be a big success, all hands got drunk there were only 5 fights...So this ends a very peaceful year."

    This particular journal has long, detailed entries for practically every day. There are approximately ten pages with damage, some of these with missing text. Inexplicably, there are also a number of short passages that have been totally scribbled out with pencil. Perhaps Mulroy later thought better of some of the things he wrote? Also included are five small contact size 35mm photos from the trip. Also included with the handwritten journal is a group of typewritten transcripts. Possibly Mulroy was working on publishing them but more likely he used these "cleaned-up" and edited versions for speeches he made in the years after the journey. This is an amazing account of an important expedition that has not previously been offered to the public. Don't let this opportunity pass you by to vicariously spend nearly two years on the trip of a lifetime.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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