Archer Colin

Outstanding Norwegian shipbuilder, the creator of the famous "Fram".
Born in the Norwegian city of Larvik, the twelfth child of thirteen children of Julia and William Archer. His parents were from Scotland, where his father was engaged in forest trade. Dissatisfied with the course of affairs, the father bought the schooner, loaded all his belongings on it, his wife and seven children, and headed for Larvik. Here, having sold the ship, he acquired the estate for a surcharge and settled there forever. With varying success, my father was engaged in trade and timber rafting.
Colin received a decent school education, in 1849 he enrolled in a shipyard and began attending night technical school. However, a year and a half later, he was forced to go to California, where one of his brothers worked in gold mines. After eight months of not-too-successful mining work, Archer went to Australia. By that time, many members of the Archer family had settled down. Together with his elder brothers, he spent 10 years in breeding cattle and sheep. In 1861, already a wealthy man, he returned to his homeland in Larvik. By 30 years outwardly, nothing foreshadowed his fate as an outstanding shipbuilder. The fact of the matter was that Archer always nurtured decisions within himself for a very long time. Subsequently, he wrote that he had delirious boats and their construction since boyish years, but life forced him to engage in earning money for food. Apparently, by the age of 30 he considered himself financially ready to open his own shipboard business. Having bought all the available literature on shipbuilding, Archer engaged in self-education, which gave, in the end, excellent results.
By the time of the start of the construction of the Fram for F. Nansen, Archer had extensive practical experience and theoretical knowledge of shipbuilding. "Fram" certainly - the crown of his achievements. The idea came from Nansen - its implementation was the work of Archer, who gave him all his love and skill. On the "Fram" brilliant polar expeditions of three great Norwegians were carried out: Nansen to the central Arctic basin, O. Sverdrup to the region of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and R. Amundsen to the shores of Antarctica.
Archer built ships for other polar expeditions. The seal-sealing vessel “Plux”, designed and built by him, was reequipped and under the new name “Southern Cross” participated in the Antarctic expedition of K. Borchgrevink. Archer rebuilt the ship "Jason", which under the name "Polar Star" became the ship of the expedition of Duke L. Abruzzi to Franz-Josef Land. Archer retooled the whaling ship "Harald Haarfager", which became the famous "Zarya" by the outstanding E.V. Toll. This list can be continued with two large rescue bots for Russia and eight pilot boats for Finland, built in the period 1898-1902.


Bust of Colin Archer in Larvik

The years have taken their toll. Work in the shipyard Archer in the beginning of XX century began to decline, and in 1910 at the age of 78 years, he finished his active shipbuilding activities. In total, about 200 large and small vessels were built at his shipyards, not counting the numerous boats created according to his drawings at other shipyards.
Having received news of Archer’s death, Nansen sent a telegram to his family, in which he expressed his gratitude to the deceased for all that he had done for him and the people of the entire Norwegian coast.
Archer is buried in the family cemetery in Tollerodden next to his parents, brothers, and sisters.
A peninsula in the northeast of Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Opened by the expedition of O. Sverdrup on the "Fram" in 1900.
Cape in the St George Fjord Bay in northwest Greenland.

Mountain in the western part of the Land of Andre, Spitsbergen. The coordinates are 79° 40'N  11° 20'E.

A fjord in the northeast of Ellesmere. Opened by the expedition of O. Sverdrup on the "Frame" in 1900.
Bay (Colin-Archer) in the Zarya Strait of the Nordensheld Archipelago in the Kara Sea. In 1893, Nansen gave this name to the entire modern Strait "Zaria". After the works of Russian Polar Expedition, the name was attributed only to the bay.


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