A microscope used on board an Antarctic expedition more than 100 years ago has been gifted to Dundee’s Discovery Point.
The equipment was used on board the Terra Nova, built in Dundee, during the National Antarctic Expedition of 1910-12.
It was used by Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his crew during the trip which eventually saw them race to the South Pole, discovering more than 400 unknown animals and plants.
Discovery Point, run by Dundee Heritage Trust, was gifted the microscope by electrical retailer Dixons Carphone. It came into their possession when the Dixons brand took over Wallace Heaton in the 70s.
Wallace Heaton provided the Royal Family with cameras and also collated important imaging and technological artefacts.
Mel Ruth Oakley, curator for Dundee Heritage Trust, said: “We are thrilled that Dixons Carphone has donated this historically important microscope to the museum.
“This microscope allows us to tell the story of Captain Scott’s love of the Antarctic and the race to the poles.
“We are also delighted that it is an object which tells the important, often untold, story of Antarctic science.”
Th microscope is now on display as part of the Heroes of the Ice Gallery at Discovery Point.
Captain Scott had already been to Antarctica prior to his Terra Nova journey. He commanded the government-funded Discovery expedition and set a new record by reaching within 410 miles of the Pole, setting a new “furthest south” record.
Scott returned a hero but was determined to reach the Pole. His next attempt ended in tragedy when he was beaten by Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian expedition and then died on the return journey.
Although the British group led by Scott reached the Pole in January 1912, the men quickly weakened in the freezing conditions. The final three of the five who set out, including Scott, died in March 2012, stuck in their tent in blizzard conditions just a few miles from a vital food depot.
Their bodies were discovered months later by members of the Terra Nova expedition who had remained at base camp.
Dixons Carphone chief executive, Alex Baldock, said: “We exist to help everyone enjoy amazing technology, and so we’re delighted to give the Leitz microscope to the Dundee Heritage Trust.
“It means everyone can better understand the scientific achievements of Robert Falcon Scott and his companions and appreciate the microscope’s historical importance.
“For our business to have a connection to pioneering acts of adventure and discovery using amazing technology from more than 100 years ago is truly exciting and something we’re happy to be able to share.”