Frederick Maurer

Frederick Maurer (1893-1923) was from New Philadelphia, Ohio. 

Before engaging in Arctic travel, Maurer worked aboard a whaling ship, the Belverde, as a deckhand. Maurer was first introduced to Stefansson in 1906 while working on the Belverde, as he was an honored guest of the ship's captain. 

In the years after, the two stayed in contact, and ultimately in 1913, Stefansson hired Maurer as a fireman for his Canadian Arctic expedition. This was his first Arctic expedition, which ended in disaster, as the ship was crushed in ice. He was eventually rescued after 6 months on Wrangel Island. Despite the disaster, Maurer and Stefansson maintained their relationship, with Maurer joining his circuit as an opening act in 1921. 

Wrangel Island expedition members, winter 1922

Frederick Maurer pictured back row, middle 

Later that year, Stefansson asked Maurer to participate in the Wrangel Island expedition, and he immediatley said yes. Maurer had some experience to help him on this journey, working on ships his whole life and participating in the disastrous Canadian Arctic expedition. Despite this, he was still relatively unprepared -- in a letter to his mother prior to the expedition, he says "we are going to be living in comfort".  That reveals how optimistic he was, but also what led the expedition into danger, failing to adequately prepare for the hostile environment of Wrangel Island. However, his passion and excitement for the Arctic led him to return to Wrangel Island. He had high hopes to return to the Arctic to explore and potentially commercialize, and Stefansson was Maurer's way to do so. 

Frederick Maurer with pipe and sled dogs

Wrangel Island, 1920-1925

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