1. Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS Germany says:

    Lead also killed off the last great British naval Arctic expedition lead by Sir John Franklin. Hair samples recovered from three sailors buried in permafrost on Beechey Island revealed very high concentrations of lead. The source was the expedition's new-fangled canned bully beef, in tins sealed with a bead of lead. The expeditions ships disappeared, crushed in the pack ice, but at least one boatload of sailors reached land. Hunger and cannibalism finished them off, but the unusual items they carried with them in the boat suggested madness, pointing to the prolonged effects of lead poisoning. Franklin's tireless wife launched or inspired two dozen expeditions to search for her husband. England's new industrialism distilled a poison that reached beyond the search for the fabled North West Passage, and unexpectedly delivered us a new world of Arctic geography and science.

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