New York: The Viking Press, 1930. Very Good. First Edition. [9.5x6.75in]; xvi, 389 pp., frontispiece illustration of Eagle balloon in flight, 43 images of the expedition and diary pages,12 images of the expedition found and developed 33 years later in 1930, 8 maps and diagrams; Blue cloth covers with silver lettering on front and spine, illustration of balloon flying over mountain peaks, top edge trimmed; Minor shelf wear to edges and corners bumped, some fading of edges and covers, more fading from blue to light gray on spine. [Arctic Biblio 17273, Howgego III A18]. Item #13364
From the book cover, "In the romantic history of exploration no chapter is more fantastic than that which begins with the departure into the North of a tiny balloon - the Eagle - and ends with the discovery of the remains of three men on the polar wastes, thirty-three years later." The diaries told of their crash and survival along with film images.
Salomon August Andrèe (1854-1897) was a Swedish engineer and Arctic balloonist. He became interested in ballooning early in his career as a means of exploration and meteorological studies. by 1893, he began experimenting with balloon flight and may several ascents and flight across the Baltic countryside and sea, developed a steering methods, and aerial photography. In 1895, he began to develop plans to fly from Spitsbergen to the North Pole on the prevailing winds during a short period of the year. After several test flights and failure due to winds, in May 1897, he set up camp on Danes Is. for a second attempt with the Eagle balloon. On July 11, 1897, Andrèe, Stindberg and Fraenke, launched the Eagle with difficulty and some rope and ballast damage compromised the maneuverability of the balloon. While this was the last time they were seen. With the lack of control, the balloon was landed on the ice. Andrèe and other gathered supplies, a sledge and small boat to travel to safety. They ended up on White Is. and, according to the diaries, died in October, 1897. Their camp and remains were found in 1930 by a Norwegian fishing steamer, Bratvaag, and the Swedish government sent a naval vessel to recover the bodies, diaries and artifacts.