The final sextant reading

"..and with the resolute squaring of his jaws, I was sure that he was satisfied, and I was confident that the journey had ended. Feeling that the time had come, I ungloved my right hand and went forward to congratulate him on the success of our eighteen years of effort..."

A Negro Explorer at The North Pole, 1912, by Matthew Henson

Here is a picture of Peary's sextant from the 1910 Hampton's Magazine article.

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Matt helped "...writing down Peary's readings on a piece of tissue paper as he called them off. At last Peary snapped shut the vernier, rested his eyes a moment, picked up the pad with Matt's figures and finished his calculations." According to Matt's biography Dark Companion.

Peary hurt his eyes taking sextant readings. The hardest part was the strain on his eyes from all the bright snow and sun light. Peary says "...the strain of focusing,... all in a blinding light of which only those who have taken observations in bright sunlight on an unbroken snow expanse in the Arctic regions can form any conception.. left me with eyes that were, for two or three days, useless for anything requiring careful vision..."

Peary, The North Pole

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