Andre Solomon August
(18.10.1854 – October 1897)
A Swedish engineer who was one of the first to use a balloon to
explore the Arctic.
Born in Sweden, in a large family of pharmacists.
He was distinguished by a clear mind and strong will inherited
from his parents.
The family supported the cult of Spartan parenting.
Andre received his first diploma lessons from his mother and then
went to school.
He studied well, had many awards, but after completing five
classes, to the surprise of everyone, he left school and went to
Here he entered the Higher Technical School, where he graduated
at the age of twenty, having shown brilliant abilities, especially
In subsequent years, Andre worked at the plant, visited the
United States, where he became acquainted with the basics of
aeronautics, and was engaged in commerce without success.
In 1882 he served at the Swedish meteorological station on
Spitsbergen, conducted observations of atmospheric electricity,
terrestrial magnetism and meteorological phenomena under program I
of the International Polar Year.
After the expedition Andre entered the patent office.
However, all these years, he was most interested in the
development of aeronautics.
In 1893, Andre made nine balloon flights, during which he
conducted scientific observations.
In addition, he first took up issues of ball management, having
achieved great practical success in this.
Even then, he had thoughts about using a balloon for research in
In 1895, with the support of
-E. Nordenskiöld, he presented to
the Swedish Geographical Society a plan to reach the pole on the
designed balloon “Orel”.
Among the donors were the “dynamite” king A. Nobel and the polar
patron of the arts
To control the ball was equipped with a system of sails and
gidropov, in case of a long stay in the ice there were sleighs, a
folding boat and a stock of food.
To send messages, it was supposed to take 36 mailing pigeons,
marked with stamps, and 12 special buoys.
The first attempt in 1896 did not take place due to adverse
Expedition Members 1897
From left to right: G.Svedenborg (alternate), N.
K. Frenkel, S. Andre.
July 11, 1897 Andre with two satellites Frenkel
Strindberg flew from
It was planned to reach the Pole within 6 days and reach the
Three short flight reports were received from the expedition.
On July 15, 1897, the skipper of the Norwegian vessel Alken shot
down the carrier pigeon.
A note dated July 13 reported that 250 miles had been overcome,
and the flight went southeast.
A few years later, five buoys were found in Iceland and Norway,
only two had notes.
On the land of
King Charles, they found the largest buoy, which Andre was going
to dump over the pole.
Gradually, the expedition began to be forgotten, and only after
33 years in 1930 its remains were accidentally found on White
Island east of Svalbard.
In the summer of 1930, the Norwegian Institute for the Study of
Svalbard and the Arctic Sea was sent to the Franz Josef Land scientific-fishing expedition on the ship "Bratvog", led by
geologist G. Horn.
On the way, the Norwegians landed on
discovered camp Andre.
They found the remains of Andre and Strindberg, seriously damaged
by bears, notebooks, photographic films (some of which were later
saved and displayed by J. Hertzberg), a sleigh, a sailboat, clothes,
guns, a primus, and many other utensils.
Taking the found, the Norwegians continued on their way to the
Franz Josef Land.
When news of the findings reached Europe, Swedish journalists
chartered the Norwegian ship Isbjorn and sent their colleague K.
Stubendorf to it.
He was lucky to find the body of Frenkel, several travel journals
and many different items.
The surviving diaries managed to restore the history of the
Shortly after the launch, the sideruns were lost and the balloon
Due to severe icing, it decreased, the gondola began to hit the
July 14, it was decided to stop the flight.
Gas was released from the envelope, and the ball sank on the ice
about 300 miles north-northeast of White
Andre decided to move to Franz Josef Land, where a large food store was left
for them at Cape Flora.
Preparing for the campaign, July 22, Andre and his comrades set
The movement was very difficult, especially annoying crossings
through the openings and bridges.
Reading Andre's diary, you once again marvel at the human courage
and strength of mind.
Being in a difficult situation, they kept a good mood, supported
each other with jokes: “And what, is the crossing easy going?” One
“It is easy to walk, but with difficulty!” Answers another.
Despite the heroic efforts to get to Cape Flora failed because of
the strong drift in the southern direction.
“We therefore decided to abandon the march to the east.
We cannot cope with the current, nor with ice, and we have
absolutely no way to achieve anything if we continue eastwards.
Therefore, we all agreed to start our new wandering, heading for
the Seven Islands, and we hope to reach them in six or seven weeks”. Such a record appeared in Andre’s diary on 3 August.
There was a small expedition warehouse on the Seven Islands.
The trip to the Seven Islands was accompanied by the same
Divorces, fields of hummocks, zones of lightly whipped ice slowed
down the movement, took away forces that were already noticeably
In addition, Frankel had a leg and he could not carry the sled.
But the most important thing was that the southern drift took
them to a breakthrough between the Northeastern Earth and the Franz
and there was no way to reach the Seven Islands.
And now, on the eve of the polar night, they, already exhausted
and sick, with a small supply of food, with broken sleds and in fine
worn clothing, were forced to put up with wintering on the ice.
Frenkel (left) and Strindberg after a successful
On September 15, polar explorers saw the land, the ice floe was
washed to White Island.
Subsequent records show that they were able to significantly
replenish food supplies, which should have been enough for several
The ice almost pressed the camp to the southern coast of the
island, and it was decided to build an ice hut, which was called
But on October 1, a catastrophe occurred.
The floe cracked, the hut was destroyed.
On October 5, Strindberg writes: “We moved to the shore”, on the
6th - “Blizzard, reconnaissance”, on the 7th - “Moving”.
On this record almost break off.
Only on October 17, there is a short and incomprehensible remark
in the Strindberg calendar: “Home at 7 o’clock in the morning”.
From that moment everything was silent.
The path of Andre's group, compiled from diary
The reasons for their rapid death remain unknown.
The first killed Strindberg, which comrades were taken to a cleft
in the stone ridge and stoned.
Andre, who described in detail all the events, did not say a
single word about the causes of Strindberg’s death.
The official version of the death of Andre and Frenkel - "from
cold during sleep" - does not seem so dubious.
In the camp, a serviceable weapon was found with a large number
of cartridges, stocks of canned food, kerosene, a fin, but no trace
of any hut was found that was suitable for dwelling.
Most likely they lived in a tent, the base of which was bounded
by rock, fin logs and whale's edge.
Within the quadrangular contour of the tent, the remains of Andre
and Frenkel were found, with Frenkel lying on his side with his left
hand bent, his hand was under his cheek.
The natural posture of a sleeping person.
Among other hypotheses, two seem to be the most reasonable:
V. Stephanson and E. Tride.
According to Stephanson, Strindberg died in an accident, and
Andre and Frenkel from poisoning during sleep with carbon dioxide
from the incomplete combustion of kerosene.
This conclusion was later supported by
According to the Danish doctor Tride, death was caused by
trichinosis, which polar explorers contracted from bear meat.
However, it should be noted that the English expedition of
F. Nansen and
J. Johannsen, wintering in this region and at the same time,
also fed on bear meat without any damage to health.
In the late autumn of 1930, the remains of the first three polar
aeronautics were sent to Sweden and cremated there.
The incomprehensible haste with cremation made it impossible to
establish the true cause of death of Andre and Fraenkel.
Urns with ashes buried in Stockholm at the
Norra Begravningsplatsen cemetery (North cemetery
) - the largest
Sweden, located in the northern
Stockholm (Solna municipality).
It is interesting to note that in August 1898 on the southwestern
cape of White
Island landed three members of another Swedish expedition, among
whom was Professor I. G. Andersen.
If they had just walked a few kilometers, they would have
stumbled upon the place where Andre, Strindberg and Frenkel slept
Had this happened, and perhaps one riddle of the Arctic would be
Cape to the west of the Hoffmann
Island Archipelago Franz-Josef Land.
Named by Soviet cartographers in 1955.
Cape in the southwest of the of White
Peninsula (Land of André) in
the north of the island of Western Spitsbergen.
The glacier is 7.5 km long and 2 km
wide on the southwest coast of Albert I
The coordinates are 79° 19.5'N
The territory of the coast
of East Greenland.
Opened in 1898 by the Swedish expedition of
territory in the south-west of
The coordinates are 80° 05.0'N
Bay on the southeast coast
of the island of King, the archipelago of King Charles, Spitsbergen.
The coordinates are 78° 52.5'N