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Lachambre-Andrée Örnen / Eagle
Swedish polar explorers Andrée, Fraenkel and Strindberg departing from Danes Island, Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard archipelago, on July 11, 1897, in an ill-fated attempt to reach the North Pole. The hydrogen gas balloon, 67 feet in diameter, with a capacity of 170,000 cubic feet, was built by Henri Lachambre in Paris. Three varnished layers of double Chinese silk formed the upper half of the envelope, with a single layer on the bottom half. A heavy casing of woven hempen netting shrouded the balloon, which was surmounted by a cap, or calotte, of varnished silk to keep arctic snows from lodging in the netting. Suspended from a bearing ring formed from American elm wood was a wicker car measuring 6.5 feet in diameter and 5 feet deep. The balloon was originally named “Le Pôle Nord”, but was later christened “Örnen” (Eagle). In 1930, the remains of Saloman Andrée and his two companions were discovered on White Island and repatriated to Sweden.
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