July 1912: Sledging harness for the spring campaign

–from Douglas Mawson’s account “The Home of the Blizzard”–

[this same sort of preparation was going on at all the expedition huts dotted around the shores of the Antarctic continent in the austral spring of 1912]

“Ninnis and Mertz ran a tailoring business for the dogs, who were brought one by one into the outer Hut to be measured for harness.  After many lengths had been cut with scissors the canvas bands were sewn together on the large sewing-machine and then each dog was fitted and the final alterations were made.  The huskies looked quite smart in their “suits.”

“Sledging harness for both men and dogs was constructed of canvas.  In the former case, a wqide belt of triple thickness encircled the body at the hips, sewn to braces of narrower strips passing ovedr the shoulders, while hauling-rope was attached to the belt behind.  The strength of the whole depended on the care bestowed in sewing parts together, and since his life might dpend upon it, no one made anyhthing esle but a thorough job of his harness.”


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