Cod Liver Oil

Credit: Diana McCormack

The team is back at Scott Base now and enjoying the relative luxuries (bathrooms, meals being served up for us, mattresses instead of roll mats). 

I have been working in the lab here on some objects that need conservation before they can be placed or re-placed into their original locations in the historic huts.

Of special interest are a small group of objects that have been donated to the Trust this year. We have several cans of cocoa, a bottle of cod liver oil, a lacquered matchbox that still contains matches, and a jar of table salt. What these objects have in common is that they all came from one of the historic huts, but were removed during the 1950s and 1960s before the areas were protected by the Trust, often by people who were working or sheltering in the bases at that time. It is great to have these objects returned so that they can be put on display in their original context.

This bottle of cod liver oil is in really good condition, and that is mainly due to the fact that it is unopened and made from glass, which is a relatively stable material when compared to the metal artefacts. The bottle has also been sealed around the cork stopper with wax at some point, to make sure it doesn’t leak. Some little repairs to the label and a general clean-up were all it needed, and now it can be packed up and returned to the Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans next season.

Diana working on object in lab


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