State Library of South Australia logo To be a child
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Antarctica game
Title : Antarctica game Antarctica game View More Images
Add To My SA Memory
Source : Antarctica [game]; or, The race to the South Pole : an original game of exceptional interest for 2, 3 or 4 players
Place Of Creation : [Melbourne]
Publisher : National [Game Company]
Date of creation : [c190-?]
Additional Creator : National Game Co
Format : Game
Dimensions : 365 x 365 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Players can start from Tasmania, New Zealand, South America, South Africa or Madagascar and race to be the first to reach the South Pole

This board game featuring Antarctica was published very early in the 20th century as it shows the discovery of King Edward VII Land, which was discovered by Scott in 1901. The game was probably issued to take advantage of the interest shown in the continent at that time with the expeditions of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, all of which stopped briefly in Australia en route to the South.

The continent is poorly defined as there were still large stretches of coastline that were undiscovered. There are also a number of illustrations on the board which perhaps reflect the lack of information about the continent, or are an attempt at humour: these include the polar bear near South America, the walrus sitting on the continent and the ice cream and hot dog stalls.

National Games of Ballarat produced a wide range of games: some traditional such as Snakes and Ladders, and Ludo, and others that used topical themes such as Antarctica, World War I, Boer War and popular activities such as cycling and motoring. The design of the boards was always bright and attractive and in many instances the games were often re-issued with updated designs as cars and clothing changed. In this way the game had fresh appeal to the next generation of players.

Further reading :

Holden, Robert. Race to the finish: an exhibition of Australian children's board games from colonial times to the present day, Manly, N.S.W.: Manly Art Gallery & Museum, 1986

Goodfellow, Caroline. A collector's guide to games and puzzles, London: Apple Press, c1991

Martin, Stephen. A history of Antarctica, Sydney: State Library of New South Wales Press, 1996

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on