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Polar Philatelic Items for Sale on Behalf of
The Mawson's Huts Foundation

3. SPECIAL AAT MACQUARIE ISLAND LIMITED EDITION OVERPRINTED MINISHEETS & PICTORIAL CARDS for the 2010-11 Mawson's Huts Foundation five-person Conservation Expedition, Cape Denison, Antarctica

Mawson's Huts Foundation has produced 400 overprinted, individually numbered AAT Macquarie Island mini sheets + pictorial cards marking the Foundation's 2010-11 five-person expedition to Cape Denison, which is spending 4-5 weeks at the site conserving the huts and artefacts.

Four overprints (4x100) and cards are available. Each of the four cards (17 cm x 11 cm) depict different structures, which were part of Mawson's AAE Macquarie Island base established in 1911/12. The main purpose of the base was to establish a Wireless Relay Station to relay messages between Mawson's main base on the Antarctic continent and Hobart. During the 23 months the five expeditioners were on Macquarie Island they also provided valuable meteorological reports, completed a survey of the entire island and compiled collections of marine, bird and animal life.

The Wireless Relay Station was established on the northern tip of the island on “Wireless Hill”, and comprised the Wireless Masts and Aerial, a Wireless Operating Hut and an Engine House for generating power for the radio. An accommodation hut was established at the foot of Wireless Hill.

All minisheets SOLD OUT

A. (1-100) Accompanying the overprint entitled “The Shack” is a card depicting the accommodation hut, which had been prefabricated in Hobart; it measured 6.1 metres x 3.9 metres. The height at the front was 2.9 metres sloping to 2.3 metres at the back. All the timbers were of oregon and deal, and particular attention was paid to bracing and strengthening the building, which rested on piles just clear of the sandy surface. The hut had 4 bunks in the main room, a separate room for George Ainsworth, the leader of the party, and a room designated Darkroom and Laboratory.

A-The-Shack-card

B. (101-200) Accompanying the overprint entitled “Wireless Hill” is a card depicting the Wireless Masts and Aerial on Wireless Hill, the summit of which is about 100 metres above sea level. The aerial comprised four wires 200 feet (61m) in length suspended 80 feet (24 m) above the ground between two masts. It was probably led into the transmitter from one end being thus of the inverted “L” type. The normal current in the aerial was about 13 amperes. The masts were made of oregon timber and were built by Saxton and Binns, Sydney.

B-Wireless-Hill-card-lg

C. (201-300) Accompanying the overprint entitled “De Dion House” is a card depicting the engine house, which provided power for the radio. The name comes from the name of the engine that drove the generator, which was a 9 h.p. French water-cooled De Dion Bouton petrol engine. The De Dion engine was the world’s first internal combustion engine to be manufactured in large numbers from 1895, and set the design for the first motorcycle and car engines. The generator is currently held by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

 

D. (301-400) Accompanying the overprint entitled 'Wireless Operating Hut' is a card depicting the interior of the hut. The wireless equipment chosen by the expedition was the German-made Telefunken 1.5 kilowatt 'spark' transmitters. The Macquarie Island telegraphists, Charles Sandell and Arthur Sayer, used morse code, operated on high frequency.

Sadly all that remains of the AAE presence on the island are the stumps of the radio masts on Wireless Hill and the remains of the flying fox used to deliver equipment to the radio station.

All minisheets SOLD OUT

 

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