Paul Popper bought the rights to the famous photographs of Scott's expedition to the South Pole in 1935. Each image has Popper's label on the verso confirming that these prints are "made direct from the original negative".
Led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott, the British Antarctic Expedition (1910-13) was one of the earliest and most important polar exploration missions. The expedition's photographer, Herbert Ponting, spent more than a year with Captain Scott and his men at Cape Evans and made over 1,700 glass plate negatives during the expedition. Bowers was trained by Ponting, and therefore took charge of photography during the trek to the South Pole. He captured the tragic image of Oates, Scott, Wilson, Evans and himself at the South Pole, crushed after finding out that Roald Amundsen beat them to it. "The most painful photograph... One can easily cry over its significance. You can tell by looking at the expression on each man's face that they were defeated: all were suffering from malnutrition, scurvy and frostbite. The three in the back can barely stand. It must have required courage to take this photograph. Bowers pulled the cord with his right hand to take the picture. They did their best to pose with their sledge flags and Union Jack... If they had been the first to the Pole they would have had the strength to survive." (Herbert G. Ponting, The Great White South, New York, 1922).
The last photograph of the final resting place of Scott, Bowers and Wilson is taken by the Norwegian Tryggve Gran, during the search in October 1912. In November they found the tent with the bodies of Scott and his men. The constructed a cairn over the bodies after the personal items, including the flags, diaries, letters and photographic negatives were retrieved. Scott had made the last entry in his diary on the 29 March 1912, knowing very well that he and his men were only 11 miles away from a food depot, but being unable to reach it because of a snowstorm.
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