• Short Summary

    A look at the research and inventions that help scientists and explorers survive in antarctic conditions.

  • Description

    Hampstead, London.

    M/S of Major J. M. Adams/ Adam, of the Royal Army Medical Core and physiologist in the Antarctic party, standing in front of a panel of controls inside the Medical Research Council's laboratory. He puts on a hooded undergarment made from copper wire mesh. C/U of the major's face, tilt down to his hands doing up buttons. M/S of Dr. L. G. C. E. Pugh, physiologist to the Everest expedition, assisting the major to fasten the wire mesh garment. C/U of Dr. P. M/S of a seated man, dressed in a large parka coat and padded trousers, lacing up his snow boots. M/S of the major dressed in a parka as Dr. P helps him make some final adjustments to his arctic kit. Tilt down to show Dr. P. plugging copper wires attached to the major's clothing into a small electrical generator. C/U of the generator. C/U of Dr. P. C/U of the generator. The electricity heats the mesh and keeps the wearer warm while also measuring the different temperatures of the body. This innovation is one of many developed by the National Institute for Medical Research for use in arctic conditions.

    C/U of a man, dressed in full arctic kit, pulling on a pair of thick mittens. The man, followed closely by the major, walks over to a metal door of a "special climatic chamber". They close the door behind them and begin the experiment - "these human guineas pigs" will experience temperatures of -40 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to the Arctic. M/S of the man entering a tent pitched inside the chamber. M/S, from inside the tent, of the man climbing through the flap. The tent is portable and folds up like an umbrella. He removes his mittens and takes down his hood, before pumping up the inflatable mattress incorporated into the tent floor. C/U of the pump. M/S of the man pumping up the mattress.

    M/S of the major putting on a gas mask and a balaclava. The mask, called an 'Imp' (Integrating Motor Pneumotachograph), measures energy expenditure. The major begins walking on a treadmill which simulates the action of sledging. C/U of the mask. M/S of the major, tilt down to his feet walking on the treadmill. C/U of the treadmill tilting - a device to simulate the different conditions normal to sledging. C/U of the mask. C/U of the treadmill tilting. M/S of the major walking, in the background Heinz Wolff, designer of much of the equipment, observes the experiment through a glass panel. The major gets off the treadmill and slumps exhausted against the glass panel, Heinz takes readings from a meter attached to the major's back . C/U of the meter reading - the numbers increase every time the major breaths measuring the amount of heat being used. M/S of the major walking around the tent to open a box of food. The major has lived in the climatic chamber for up to 30 hours while colleagues observed his physical reactions to the cold. He pulls out a foil wrapped container of dehydrated food which he tears open with his teeth - explorers need twice as many calories as a normal man. The major then places a smaller packet on top of a camping stove powered by liquid propane and sets about preparing a meal. C/U of the major as he works.

    Please note different spellings of Major Adam/ Adams' surname - varies in accompanying paperwork

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Colour pictorials
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:32:02:00 / 01:34:52:00
    CP 156

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