The Franklin Expedition

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 

10:00 a.m. on ZOOM* 

* This is part of the History Interest Group's program. To join this group contact the convenor. If you are not a member of CFUW but would like to join us, email  to request a link to our ZOOM meeting. We always welcome new members. 

Flora Davidson M.A.

Marine Conservator

FLORA DAVIDSON earned a Masters in the Conservation of Historical and Archaeological Objects at Durham University (UK).  Since then, she has specialized developed a particular interest in the conservation and protection of underwater cultural heritage.  Flora joined Parks Canada in 2004 and became the lead conservator on artifacts from HMS Erebus in 2015 after the wreck site was found.  Flora currently works as a freelance conservator and  museums consultant and continues her work with international conservation organizations including Icon serving on  the  Professional Development &  Standards  committee.

The Franklin Expedition

Franklin's lost expedition was a British voyage of Arctic  exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin that departed England in 1845 aboard two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.  They were to traverse the last uncharted sections of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic.  Both ships and their crews, a total of 129 officers and men, became icebound in Victoria Strait near King William Island in what is today Nunavut.   After being icebound for more than a year Erebus and Terror were abandoned in April 1848, by which point Franklin and nearly two dozen others had died. The survivors, set out for the Canadian mainland and disappeared, presumably having perished.

The search for the lost Franklin expedition continued through the 19th and 20th centuries.  In 2014 a Canadian search team led by Parks Canada located the wreck of Erebus in the eastern portion of Queen Maud Gulf A combination of research into Inuit oral histories, the continued work of archeologists and historians, and the use of high-tech underwater equipment allowed scientists to locate first the Erebus in 2014 and then the Terror in Terror Bay in 2016. Both wrecks were found off King William Island. Numerous dives recovered various artifacts.  The wreck sites are now protected as a combined National Historic Site.

Wooden Box Spoon  and Brush



This talk will focus on architecture built in the Art Deco style in Shanghai during the inter-war period (1919-39). It explores Shanghai’s colonial history showing why the city counts among the largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world, including hotels, department stores, cinemas and private residences. The talk will situate Art Deco within the growing Chinese interest at that period in Western concepts of luxury, nightlife, graphic art, fashion and furniture. Art Deco can be viewed as an example of how styles and products travel from one region to another. Now part of China’s architectural heritage, Shanghai’s Art Deco also asserts itself in the overall history of modern architecture while paying tribute to the Chinese and foreign architects and workers involved.
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