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1939 Simpson Desert Expedition
Title : 1939 Simpson Desert Expedition 1939 Simpson Desert Expedition
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Creator : Madigan, C.T. (Cecil Thomas), 1889-1947
Place Of Creation : Simpson Desert
Date of creation : 1939
Format : Film
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

In 1929 CT Madigan undertook a series of aerial reconnaissances of central Australia and in 1939 followed this up with a scientific expedition into the Simpson Desert. His expedition crossed the desert in 25 days with a party of nine, pioneering the use of mobile radio communication, and making extensive zoological and botanical collections, which included 14 new species of spiders. The geology of the desert was also recorded. This was the first scientific examination of the Simpson Desert and only the second complete crossing by a European. Madigan's expedition was financed by AA Simpson of Adelaide, and was timed to take advantage of two good seasons of rain. Madigan was not the first to attempt a crossing of this desert. Before him there had been David Lindsay who had skirted it in the 1880s, Augustus Poeppel who was surveying the South Australian border in 1880, and in 1936 Ted Colson had crossed the desert from west to east, from his station at Blood Creek to Birdsville. Colson though had mostly followed the 26th parallel, the SA-NT border.

Cecil Madigan was educated at Adelaide High School, Prince Alfred College and Adelaide University. In 1911 he deferred his Rhodes scholarship when appointed meteorologist to the Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Douglas Mawson. After serving in World War I, he was in 1920 appointed assistant government geologist in the Sudan. In 1922 he became a lecturer at Adelaide University. He served again during World War II as Chief Instructor at the School of Military Field Engineering. This delayed the publication of the scientific reports of the Simpson Desert Expedition. Cecil Madigan died 14 January 1947.

Related names :

Madigan, C.T. (Cecil Thomas), 1889-1947

Coverage year : 1939
Period : 1919-1927,1927-1939
Place : Simpson Desert
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :

Madigan, C. T. Crossing the dead heart Adelaide: Rigby, 1974

Royal Society of South Australia The Simpson Desert Expedition, 1939: scientific reports Adelaide: The Society, 1944-1948

Shephard, Mark The Simpson Desert: natural history and human endeavour Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch) and Giles Publications, 1992

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. Taking it to the edge August 2004-



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