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HMS Terror Found

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    They should have done a better job of studying the Romans, who suffered widely from lead poisoning.

    They also had steam power at their command.
    The toxicity of lead was not well understood at the time

    The Romans' problem was that they had a sweet tooth but the only natural sweeter they had access to in any quantity was honey. Roman bee-keeping used fixed combs which meant that the colony had to be destroyed when the honey was harvested. This meant low productivity and an expensive product so that honey based sweets and dishes were the preserve of the well off. The less well off could produce sweetened dishes by cooking in lead vessels. Lead poisoning is cumulative and given that getting past 50 was rare in the Roman world many died of something else before their lead poisoning became apparent. Those who did make their three score and ten were usually from the better off who could afford honeyed dishes . The connection was therefore never made. Modern analytical tools applied to excavated Roman era skeletons show lead contents in many far higher than in modern humans. There is another element of bias in this evidence as burial rather than a form of cremation was higher amongst the less well off so that their bones are the more likely to be excavated.

    Any citizen of Europe or North America over 40 is likely to have some lead in them given the extensive use of lead in plumbing in older buildings plus leaded petrol and lead in paints and other products. Some doubt has been cast however as to whether the lead solder in the tins is the prime culprit in the case of the crews of Erebus and Terror. Yes it would leach into the food which would mean that they had some lead in their systems but whether it would build up to disabling levels so quickly is now questioned. It has been suggested that the tins were the problem but because the canning process destroyed some vital vitamins. Men living exclusively on tinned food would succumb and it seems the cold conditions would exacerbate the effect. It has been postulated that the same issue may have contributed to the loss of Captain Scott and his men.

    BTW when did the Romans have steam power? The Alexandrian Greeks had a form of steam powered toy but it could do no useful work but the Romans ?
    Last edited by MarkV; 05 Nov 18, 07:14.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #17
      Originally posted by MarkV View Post

      The two ships were named after two large active volcanoes on Ross Island in the Antarctic. It was a jokey reference to the smoke that the not very efficient steam engines belched. They were bringing two South Polar smoke emitters to North Polar regions. I'm afraid that's typical of British Naval humour in the first part of the 19th century. It was even worse earlier Nelson liked bad puns!
      You've got it backwards. Ross Island, is named after Arctic and Antarctic explorer Sir James Ross (who would later search for Franklin as well), the volcanoes were named after the ships serving his 1839-1843 expedition of Antarctic mapping and discovery; HMS Erebus, launched in 1826 & HMS Terror, launched in 1813, both later used by Franklin. Both names have been used many times over the history of the RN.
      Last edited by Marmat; 05 Nov 18, 10:15.
      "I am Groot"
      - Groot

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Marmat View Post

        You've got it backwards. Ross Island, is named after Arctic and Antarctic explorer Sir James Ross (who would later search for Franklin as well), the volcanoes were named after the ships serving his 1839-1843 expedition of Antarctic mapping and discovery; HMS Erebus, launched in 1826 & HMS Terror, launched in 1813, both later used by Franklin. Both names have been used many times over the history of the RN.
        Touche

        I will don my metaphorical crutches and hobble round and dong my source(s) with lump of ice covered lava. However the RN joke still stands and appears in newspapers of the period.
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #19
          He over-reached and I was here to see it.

          My day is complete!
          "Why is the Rum gone?"

          -Captain Jack

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          • #20
            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
            He over-reached and I was here to see it.

            My day is complete!
            Ah...how little it takes to make us happy these days.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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