Talk:Nansen's Fram expedition

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Featured article Nansen's Fram expedition is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 23, 2012.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
October 19, 2009 Peer review Reviewed
October 27, 2009 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

New article[edit]

At present, this account of Fridtjof Nansen's voyage to the Arctic in Fram is still being developed. Some of the maps are incomplete, and the last few sections are being written. Brianboulton (talk) 20:51, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

  • (Later) The article was completed 5 October.
Great article. I have not read through it yet, but I have enjoyed what I have read. I have done some minor changes. Feel free to undo at own Will. One thing. You use the Norwegian word Storting for the Norwegian Parliament. I would prefer if we just say the Norwegian Parliament since this is common in English.
It is quite usual in written English to use the local word for a nation'a parliament. Thus we would refer to the Knesset, the Bundestag, the Dail etc. My own preference is to leave Storting – it may help familiarise the term to English readers. Brianboulton (talk) 17:54, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
BTW. Since I am from Bergen I love the lead image. I recognize many of the houses in Skuteviken and Sandviken behind the ship, and notice allt the small Oselvars surrounding the ship. The article Oselvar was just created last week. Rettetast (talk) 10:35, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

I, too, have made small changes which may be reversed. Also, for your consideration:

  • Spitsbergen is wikilinked twice; perhaps once is enough? Agreed
  • Jeannette is spelt with a single t within quotes. Correct? Corrected - my typo
  • "scheme" should be in the plural, but as it, too, is within quotes, perhaps the mistake should be there. Maybe marked [sic]. My typo again

I'm now off to read the rest of the article, which I am enjoying! Nansen was a remarkable man. - Hordaland (talk) 14:18, 5 October 2009 (UTC)


  • Please check this sentence "After the excitement it was noted that Fram had drifted beyond Greely's Farthest North record of 83°24, and on 8 January was at 82°34'N." T'would seem more reasonable that they might have been further north on 8 January? Typo - corrected to 83°34
  • "Bridal path", presumably brudeferd in a halting attempt at translation, is strange and meaningless in English IMO. Perhaps paraphrase the first half of the quotation and retain the last half?
    • "Bed of roses" is probably the most idiomatic English translation, but I have done as you suggested and paraphrased the first part of the quote. Brianboulton (talk) 17:54, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Several places where you have written "aboard" I would have used "on board". Dialect? - Hordaland (talk) 15:19, 5 October 2009 (UTC) Agreed and changed


  • Not sure what this should be. Please fix: "...were greeted by Professor Mohn, the originated the polar drift theory who was in the town by chance." Fixed
  • "...was a triumphal progress" sounds strange in my ear. Maybe: progression?
    • "Triumphal progress" is proper use, defined as "a stately journey". "Progression" or "procession" would do equally well. (Huntford uses "progress"). Brianboulton (talk) 17:54, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • "constructed from" -- reconsider choice of preposition? Changed to "formed by"

I'm done nitpicking. Thanks for a fascinating article. - Hordaland (talk) 15:40, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for these comments. Many of what you point out are typos or careless mistakes by me which I will rectify. I am looking at the other points. Brianboulton (talk) 16:32, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Note on "Christiania"[edit]

In accordance with Wikipedia's naming convention (see WP:NAME, the anglicised spelling "Christiania" is used rather than Kristiania. The English version of Nansen's book also uses Christiania, as do all English sources. (I apologise for a couple of mis-spellings now corrected). Brianboulton (talk) 21:39, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Also: according to the Oslo article the spelling "Christiania" was retained by the municiplity until 1897. Brianboulton (talk) 16:30, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Ruhrfisch comments[edit]

This looks very good already, and I am not sure I have much to add, but here are some nitpicks on reading the article carefully.

  • Lead - the first sentence seems a little off to me Nansen's Fram expedition, 1893–1896, was an attempt by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen to reach the geographical North Pole by harnessing the natural east-west drift of the Arctic Ocean. Does an ocean really drift? Don't things on the ocean drift (like ice)? Would it read better as something like harnessing the natural east-west current of the Arctic Ocean. or perhaps better harnessing the natural east-west drift of ice on the Arctic Ocean. ?
    • The word "drift" has various meanings. In oceanography it means the tendency of water to move in the direction of the prevailing wind, as in "Transpolar drift" or, more commonly, "North Atlantic Drift" (aka "Gulf Stream"). The word is synonymous with "current", and to avoid any possible misunderstanding we can use "current" in the opening sentence.
  • Seems to me like commas might be needed here: In the face of much discouragement from regular polar explorers[,] Nansen took his ship Fram to the New Siberian Islands in the eastern Arctic Ocean, froze it into the pack ice, and waited for the drift to carry it towards the pole. and also here (more sure on this one): The scientific observations carried out during this period provided a major contribution to the new discipline of oceanography[,] which subsequently became the main focus of Nansen's scientific work.
    • First instance, In Brit-Eng we would not normally employ a comma here, since the second clause does not qualify the first. We would use a comma, for example, if the sentence ran: "In the face of much discouragement from regular polar explorers, who had decided views on the matter..." but not otherwise.(I know Am-Eng conventions are different and I argue this point over and over again, usually with Tony the Tiger).
    • Second instance: Wouldn't the proposed comma confuse the meaning? It was the new discipline of oceanography that became the focus of Nansen's work, not "a major contribution to the new discipline..." etc. Its probably another Brit v Am point.
      • I defer to your better sense of BE (and grammar). Ruhrfisch ><>°° 02:20, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Background Does US Navy need to be linked in In September 1879 the US Navy gunboat Jeannette, converted for Arctic exploration and commanded by ...? What about a link for meteorology later? Both links added
  • Can the year(s) of Mohn lectures be given? Added - 1884
  • Should Nansen's age be moved to the earlier sentence? He is introduced in These theories were read with interest by the young Fridtjof Nansen, then working as a curator ... and two sentences later his age is given as 23. WOuld it make sense to give his age in the first sentence (instead of "young")? Fixed per your suggestion
  • Preparations Are metric conversions needed for horse power and knots in Its auxiliary engine of 220 horse-power was capable of speeds of 6–7 knots.[27] ?
    • I've done the knot conversion. The template gives an absurd figure if you try to convert 220 hp to cc or litres. In any event, according to this, no simple conversion is possible due to a range of variable factors, so I've left the 220 horsepower
  • Should Amundsen be identified further in One of these was from the 20-year-old Roald Amundsen, whose mother stopped him from going. ? His name is wikilinked, so it might not be necessary, but not everyone will know who he was and this is so ironic (and I am glad his mother let him be the first to reach the South Pole). OK. I've identified him
  • Voyage I would link Tromsø in the text on its first appearance (I realize it is linked in the caption already) Linked
  • I would make it clearer that Nansen is writing in his journal in Nansen expressed his frustration: "I feel I must break through this deadness, this inertia,... Clarified
  • Would it help to add the approximate distance to the pole from 83 degrees in On 16 November Nansen revealed his intention publicly; he and one companion would leave the ship and start for the pole when the ship passed 83°. ? (nearly 500 miles, I think)
    • The distance is not given, but is fairly irrelevant because they didn't actually leave until the ship had passed 84°N. I could add that this was 360 nmi from the pole, though this distance isn't given in the sources.
      • No problem - I made comments as I read it and had not yet gotten to the part where they departed for the Pole, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 02:20, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I think it would help to repeat here that Johansen was the dog driving expert A few days later he asked Hjalmar Johansen to join him on the polar journey.[56] Done
  • Problem sentence: By Nansen's calculations, on 31 May their latitude was 82°21', placing them only 50 miles from Cape Figuely if his longitude estimate was accurate.[78] I assume these are nautical miles, but in any case this needs to be converted to show km and mi too (did not do it myself on the chance that these were statute miles). ALso I believe that "Cape Figuely" is a typo for "Cape Fligely" Conversion added and typo corrected
  • Having made the Franz Josef maqp, I note that several places named on the map are not mentioned explictly in the article. Their first landfall at Hvidtenland, their winter camp on Frederick Jackson Island, and Northbrook Island all seem to need to be added. Appropriate text and references added
  • "but nor" seems odd in Their situation was not comfortable, but nor was it life-threatening;... I think just nor would work. reworded: "Their situation was uncomfortable, but not life-threatening..."
  • I would add a clarifying "farthest north" to On 15 November 1895 Fram reached 85°55'N, only 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi) below Nansen's [farthest north] mark.[100] Clarified
  • In the Notes, I would probably spell out grt in Nansen's original opinion had been that 170 grt would be sufficient.[26] Done
  • I would also add "North" in Note 4 (it is mostly the Canadian side) ^ Nansen was prepared to admit the possibility of undiscovered land on the [North] American side.[112] Done
  • I made some minor copyedits going through and am about to go check that all refs are in numerical order. If I made any errors or made things worse, please revert.

Hope this helps, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 20:40, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

  • The order of reference note numbers and notes is not consistent. Once it is ref then note He decided to take the shorter journey, taking Nordenskïold's North-East Passage along the northern coast of Siberia.[36][n 3] then the other time it is note then ref The Arctic Ocean was a deep basin, with no significant land masses north of the Eurasian continent—any hidden expanse of land would have blocked the free movement of ice.[n 4][113] These should be consistent, your call as to which order is better, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 21:04, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
    • I think notes should come before refs, and I have now made that consistent. Thank you for these comments and for the copyedits. Brianboulton (talk) 23:43, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

I have sent the article to WP:Peer review to get feedback from the wider Wikipedia community. Editors are welcome to continue improving the article. General comments should preferably be posted on the peer review page, here. Thanks, Brianboulton (talk) 20:35, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Anders Holte[edit]

Anders Holte joined the expedition when travelling back home, as a coastal pilot. He joined at Skjervøy. A featured article should not omit names of notable (he has an article in a paper encyclopedia) members of the expedition, but if Anders Holte is mentioned, does this open a "flood gate" of people who need to be mentioned as well? Geschichte (talk) 08:55, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

A few of the less prominent members of Fram's crew are not mentioned at present. I will add these to the "Crew" section - that shouldn't open any floodgates. As to Holte, I'm not at home at the moment and can't check my library, but his involvement will need to be sourced. I'll get back on this. Brianboulton (talk) 11:27, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
(Later) I have added the names of the four other crew mwmbers. There is no mention of Holte in Sverdrup's account of Fram's return voyage (in Farthest North, Vol II pp. 625–30), nor in Nansen's own account of his homecoming earlier in the book. Do you have a reliable source confirming that Holte was significantly involved in bringing Fram home from Skjervøy? Brianboulton (talk) 15:38, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't speak Norwegian, but there is an article in it here that seems to mention Holte meeting Nansen and Fram at Skjervøy, traveling back to Oslo, and perhaps a presentation of Holte to the King as a polar hero? Anyone read Norwegian? Ruhrfisch ><>°° 15:31, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Yup, I do. Sounds like Holte was a seaman's seaman. A long career from age 14-83, and some original work on navigating the coast. And Store Norske Leksikon is as reliable as it gets.

Anders Holte hadde mange oppgaver som los. Han var med på Fridtjof Nansens triumfferd med Fram da de nådde land i Skjervøy 1896 etter ferden over Polhavet. Han loset skuta frem til Kopervik, men fulgte med til Kristiania på Nansens oppfordring. Polarhelten presenterte den beskjedne Holte for kong Oscar med ordene: “Han er den beste los på kysten.”

Anders Holte had many jobs as marine pilot. He participated in Fridtjof Nansen's triumph journey with Fram when they reached land in Skjervøy 1896 after the trip over the polar sea. He piloted the boat to Kopervik, but then joined Nansen's trip to Kristiania at Nansen's initiativ. The polar hero introduced the modest Holte to King Oscar with the words: "He is the best marine pilot on the coast."

- Hordaland (talk) 19:35, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. Just one nitpick: it's not Store norske leksikon, it's Norsk biografisk leksikon, an encyclopedia now hosted on SNL's domain. Geschichte (talk) 21:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
My thanks too - Ruhrfisch ><>°° 23:39, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks to all concerned with this bit of research. My personal view is that Nolte wasn't by any definition a member of the Fram expedition, his involvement as a coastal pilot coming when the expedition was essentially over. Nansen's tribute was generous, but he was on something of a high at the time. I'd be reluctant to include this bit of info in this article, bearing in mind that much information on the expedition proper has had to be left out to keep the text to a reasonable length. The story could of course be added to the Nolte article. Brianboulton (talk) 23:59, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal (Suggen and Kaifas)[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was merge into Nansen's Fram expedition using text suggested by Ruhrfisch. --  Glenfarclas  (talk) 08:23, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Suggen and Kaifas are two very short articles with duplicative content concerning dogs Nansen had with him on the voyage. As best I can tell nothing is known about the dogs aside from their role in the expedition, and these articles are unlikely ever to expand beyond their current state (Suggen has just reached its fourth birthday with no improvement). It seems like merging in about one sentence maximum would sufficiently consolidate these articles.  Glenfarclas  (talk) 10:03, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Agree. Do it. - Hordaland (talk) 08:00, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
The article already has this sentence: On 6 August they shot the last two dogs, converted the kayaks into a catamaran by lashing sledges and skis across them, and raised a sail.[84] so the article already contains almost all the information in the dog stubs. How about On 6 August they shot the last two Samoyed dogs, a male named Kaifas and a female named Suggen, converted the kayaks into a catamaran by lashing sledges and skis across them, and raised a sail.[84] The fact that they were Samoyeds could also be added earlier (it is not already in the article). Ruhrfisch ><>°° 11:57, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
That should do it. Brianboulton (talk) 22:29, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds good.  Glenfarclas  (talk) 08:12, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Source of information and images[edit]

Hello, I have found this: Popular Science Monthly/Volume 57/August 1900/Scientific Results of the Norwegian Polar Expedition, 1893-1896 I have added in a period map to the article, it seemed fitting. There are a lot more period images linked to this article here: image refs PSM V57 D431 to D442 that may be of interest to this article, but quite frankly this is outside of my area of interest, so if others want to take up the reigns on this then please feel free Pahazzard (talk) 22:37, 23 December 2012 (UTC)