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Man's suit

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

This sturdy woollen three-piece suit was one of five complete sets of clothes, all unused, which were brought back to New Zealand in 1947 from an abandoned relief depot on the Snares Islands by Robert Falla, director of the Dominion Museum. The Snares lie about 100 kilometres south of New Zealand. They were one of several subantarctic islands that once housed relief depots. Relief depotsRelief depots were placed on the Great Circle shipping route, the path often used in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to sail from Australasia to Europe. The course had steady westerly winds, but had its dangers. Crews were sometimes shipwrecked and stranded on cold, uninviting southern islands for months waiting rescue. The depots held guns for hunting, food, blankets, and clothing, and were places of hope in times of trouble. Depot service abandoned From about 1880 until 1927 New Zealand government steamers made regular trips to maintain the depots and search for shipwreck survivors. However, eventually shipping and radio communications improved and the Great Circle route and the relief depot service were abandoned.

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