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Clock and gunpowder horn

Anonymousc. 1590 - c. 1596

Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

In 1596, Willem Barentsz, Jacob van Heemskerck and fifteen others spent the winter in an improvised shelter on the island of Nova Zembla off the north coast of Russia. Confined to their hut in the middle of the Polar winter, the men had no sense of night or day. A clock on the wall told the time, until it finally froze to a halt on 3 December 1596.

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