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"The Voyage of the Fox - On open waters" created by William Barth Osmundsen, sculptor
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"The Voyage of the Fox - On open waters" created by William Barth Osmundsen, sculptor

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The 'Fox' an 18 foot rowboat was the first craft of this kind to cross the Atlantic Ocean, sans sail, motor, or rudder. The small open surf-boat' left New York's lower Battery on June 6th, 1896, …

The 'Fox' an 18 foot rowboat was the first craft of this kind to cross the Atlantic Ocean, sans sail, motor, or rudder. The small open surf-boat' left New York's lower Battery on June 6th, 1896, crossing the Atlantic while plying the northern shipping route. The two Norwegian-American seamen, George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, made the 3,000 mile trip to landfall, Sicily Islands, British Isles in 55 days. A record time which stood for 114 years. They continued on to Le Havre, France (the mouth of the Seine), exhibiting their boat there and Paris, Germany and Norway. They returned home from Copenhagen via a steamer arriving in Hoboken, a New Jersey port, later that year.
Their remarkable feat was soon almost forgotten.

This sculpture was created to honor these brave seamen and centuries of sailors who challenged the unpredictable Oceans of the World.

The 4 foot model depicted is the Marquette for an 8 ft. bronze monument (1/3 rd life-sized).

Bill Osmundsen, sculptor.
Victor Samuelsen, project manager









































































nnnNorwegian adventurers

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  • 1. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 2. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project managerI am pleased to present this booklet with our new efforts depicting “The Voyage of the Fox” . Like the voyage itself, the pursuitof a perfect monumental sculpture is filled with many adjustments and considerations. When we first began six years ago it wasthe remarkable story written by David Shaw, “Daring the Sea” which caught our imagination. Two men in a rowboat, crossingthe Atlantic Ocean, it seemed preposterous. Then of course we found it was not just a tale or a good story but a real story andan actual historic event which demanded attention to it’s detail.Historic Artwork needs the factual aspects to retell the story, giving proper perspective to the event. The boat itself was not justa rowboat but a specific type of craft made especially for Harbo and Samuelsen, in the very waters, that they fished off the coastof New Jersey. They had 4 sets of oars, the boat was 18 feet, lap streaked and a double ender. They flew an American Flag,wore sailors oilskins and Gloucester hats. They road high following seas.;- always, just on the edge of failure.
  • 3. “On open waters”This year marks the 115th anniversary of the voyage of the FOX, the first transatlan-tic crossing by oar, in an open 18-foot rowboat named FOX. The nearly impossiblefeat was accomplished by two young Norwegian-American seamen who left NewYork June 6, 1896, and arrived in Le Havre, France on Aug. 7, 1896.By Bill OsmundsenNorwegian American WeeklyAround the time that Nansen was lauded for his polar achievement, twoother Norwegians by birth – George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen – rowedmore than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in an 18-foot surfboatcalled FOX. They didn’t discover anything, but they did prove thatthrough endurance and careful planning, two men in an open boat couldactually achieve what was in 1896 believed impossible. If we look attheir modest effort, compared to the mounting of the great expeditionsof the Fram – Nansen, north and Amundsen south, they also exhibited “The Voyage of the Fox,” sculpture depicted here is the work of the article’s author, Bill Osmundsen.great courage and fortitude and should join the ranks of explorers who The prototype was created as a model for a bronze monument to be placed in New York and Norway. Further information about this project can be obtained by visiting the artist’s website: http://have pushed the human limits. Harbo and Samuelsen were the first to BronzeSea.org/FoxSculpture.aspx, or by contacting Project Coordinator, Victor Samuelsen at fant-successfully cross the Atlantic in an open rowboat. slake@aol.com or (203) 561-0005. Photo courtesy of Bill Osmundsen.Once at sea on the vast Atlantic, Harbo and Samuelsen would be mistaken by other ships for men adrift in their small rowboat, or dory men off aNova Scotia fishing schooner. In response, they would wave off the attempting rescuers, explaining they had taken up the days challenge for atransoceanic crossing by oar. The Fox didn’t carry any sail or powered propulsion of any kind, other than two sets of strong arms and three setsof oars.George Harbo was from Sandefjord, Norway, aged 32, and Frank Samuelsen, from Farsund, Norway aged 26. Despite their young ages, both menhad plenty of experience at sea. George had been trained as a pilot and navigator and had been in the Merchant Marine. Frank had spent sixyears in the Merchant Marine and was promoted quickly up the chain of command to boson’s mate. After leaving Norway and years at sea, themen met in New York, George settling in Brooklyn and Frank in New Jersey.George Harbo had arrived earlier than Frank, and witnessed the dedication of the Statue of Liberty from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y., with his wifeAnne and their young son Andrew. At the time, New York was bustling with horses and wagons and the docks were filled with sailing ships on theEast River from Harlem to South Street. But by 1893, the country was in a deep recession, similar to our current condition and by 1896, theheroes of our story were looking for some increased income and found their way down to the Jersey Shore where they worked a surfboat, out tothe clam flats to fish daily.
  • 4. Clamming was hard, monotonous work with little opportunity for wealth. Harbo found out about a $10,000 prize for rowing across the Atlantic.Every day as they fished, Harbo spoke to Samuelsen about attempting a transoceanic crossing and how he figured it could be done. They wouldneed a little financial backing to build a special rowboat called a surfboat, so named because you could launch it in the heavy surf, but modifiedwith some water tight cubbies and hand-holds on the keel in case they capsized and had to right the boat at sea.One day they traveled up to New York City to the offices of the Police Gazette to present to Richard K. Fox, owner and publisher of the famoussporting and sensational tabloid newspaper with their idea.“Well, outside of the fact you have a giant as a rowing partner (referring to the six-foot-tall Samuelsen) what makes you think you can accom-plish this?” Fox said.Harbo’s plan however was convincing and Richard Fox agreed, stating, “I think the story should be worth a little ink.”The voyage of the Fox would not be an idyll or careless attempt to grab a bit of fame by attempting this crossing. If not financed grandly, it wascarefully planned, it had the important backing of the influential New Yorker, Richard Fox, an emigrant too, but of Irish origin. The boat wasbuilt by George Seamen, at his Branchport, N.J., boat shop, located close by to their fishing grounds and named in Fox’s honor.By early June, Harbo and Samuelsen were in New York with their newly built 18-foot surfboat performing exhibition rows on the Harlem River.They wore their fine white shirts, vests and bowler hats and were photographed to document their audacious plan to row across the Atlantic. Theword from their fellow seamen: “The next time we see them will be in Davy Jones Locker.” Most people, including their immediate families andfriends, tried to talk them out of it.After their exhibition rows on the Harlem River, they rowed down to Red Hook, Brooklyn on the East River. Richard Fox picked them up with atow from his steam yacht Richard K. Fox to Bay Ridge. Then Harbo and Samuelsen cast off from their tow to begin the journey across theAtlantic.The Fox’s crew averaged about 50 miles a day, rowing 18 hours a day and made up to 135 miles during a following sea. Harbo, the navigator,took the North Atlantic shipping route staying somewhat below the ship-ping lanes and only popped back up to get assistance with the food sup-plies which they had lost overboard when the FOX capsized mid-Atlantic. Those handholds, on the keel, came in handy when a 40-foot wave hitthen sideways. The most dramatic account of them being capsized comes from the original log written by Harbo:“Friday July 10: It has been blowing a gale all night. Wind west. 8 a.m. Wind increasing. Going before it at a slow rate. 12 noon. Day’swork 100 miles. It has been blowing a gale for 2 days, and the sea is bigger than we have ever seen it on this trip. At about 8 p.m. a bigsea struck us partly side-ways and upsetting the boat and us into the water. In a few minutes however we got into the boat again. Welost many things this time: Floating anchor and cable, dishes and frying pan and cook pot and one rattan seat. Everything we have in theboat soaked with water except the bread. This is the 3rd night up without sleep.”
  • 5. Because they capsized, losing necessary food supplies, they hailed two sailing barks: The Cito, out of Larvik, on July 15 and Eugen, out of Christi-ania (Oslo), on July 24. Onboard each sailing ship, they were served dinner and received provisions to supplement the ones they had lost over-board. During both onboard visits, they only stayed for a few hours, returning to the FOX to pick up on the ceaseless rowing. The masters of theships reported these meetings and that the Fox was underway without power, sail or a rudder.By Aug. 1, they had made landfall at the Sicily Islands, the western most part of the British Isles. Their 55-day record crossing was never brokenfor 114 years, until this past year, when four British men in a high-tech, cast hull, 23-foot rowing boat – much, much different from the FOX, fi-nally bested the record. But considering the two extra men and the modern equipment, was the playing field level enough to make that determi-nation?When they arrived in Le Havre standing before the American Consul, they were sunburned, had boils on their body, and were almost unable towalk on land. They never stood up at sea – Harbo tried it but they almost capsized. They were also badly in need of funds, clothes and modestprovisions.Richard Fox met them in Paris and awarded them two gold medals, which are reportedly in a vault in Norway. It’s never been clear whether the$10,000 was a prize offered by the Police Gazette or someone else but there is no confirmation that they ever received the money, an amounttoday equivalent to more than a quarter of a million dollars.Their incredible feat was somewhat dismissed by their fellow countrymen. Nansen’s exploration of the North Pole was still on everyone’s lips.They returned on the Steamship Island, which left from Copenhagen, Denmark, and arrived in Hoboken, N.J. Their arrival was noted in a NewYork Times article dated March 18, 1897. Because the steamer ran out of coal during the passage, it was speculated that the Captain had wantedto use the Fox, which was onboard for firewood. Legend has it that Harbo and Samuelsen put the FOX overboard and rowed it home.The original Fox was exhibited at the Huber Museum on 14th Street, in Greenwich Village, New York after their arrival. Fame however, was briefand the significance of their heroic effort was not appreciated in their own time.Frank Samuelsen returned to Farsund and the family farm where he died in 1946. After the voyage, George Harbo continued his work as a NewYork Harbor Pilot, catching pneumonia in 1908. He died at age 44, leaving his wife and a large family.The Voyage of the Fox continues to inspire people from all over the world. As a result of their rowing attempt hopeful mariners launch rowingcraft yearly. A book titled “Daring the Sea” was written by David W. Shaw about the crossing. Folk singer Jerry Bryant wrote ‘The Ballad of Harboand Samuelsen.” And the Long Branch Ice Boat & Yacht Club built an replica of the FOX. This article By Bill Osmundsen was originally published in the Jul. 8, 2011 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. See it online at: NORWAY.com - http://blog.norway.com/2011/07/07/on-open-waters/ Artist Web Site: BronzeSea.org
  • 6. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 7. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 8. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 9. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 10. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 11. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 12. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 13. “The Voyage of The fox” new work A collection of new images Nov. 5, 2012 © William Barth Osmundsen Sculptor Victor Samuelsen Project manager
  • 14. Dimensions of Model Shown “VOYAGE OF THE FOX” Dimensions of 1/6 Life Sculpture 1/3 Life ScaleIn inches In inchesSculpture Over All Sculpture Over AllLength: (A) 49” Length: (A) 98” (8.16 ft)Width: (B) 39” (including Oars) Width: (B) 78” (including Oars)Width: (C) 27” (w/o Oars) Width: (C) 54” (w/o Oars)Height: (D) 22” (including Flag) Height: (D) 44” (including Flag)Height: (E) 20” (top of last rower) Height: (E) 40” (to top of last rower)Boat Dimensions Boat DimensionsLOA: (F) 39” (stem to stern) LOA: (F) 78” (stem to stern)Width: (G) 10” (Beam) Width: (G) 20” (Beam)Height: (H) 6” Height: (H) 12”Oars: (I) 19” (12 oars) Oars: (I) 38” (12 oars)Flag: (J) 10” x 7.75” Flag: (J) 20” x 15.5”In Centimeters In CentimetersSculpture Over All Sculpture Over AllLength: (A) 124.46cm Length: (A) 248.92cm (2.48 meters)Width: (B) 99.06cm (including Oars) Width: (B) 198.12cm (including Oars)Width: (C) 68.58cm (w/o Oars) Width: (C) 137.16cm (w/o Oars)Height: (D) 55.88cm (including Flag) Height: (D) 111.96cm (including Flag)Height: (E) 50.8cm (top of last rower) Height: (E) 101.46cm (to top of last rower)Boat Dimensions Boat DimensionsLOA: (F) 99.6cm (stem to stern) LOA: (F) 198.12cm (stem to stern)Width: (G) 25.4cm (Beam) Width: (G) 50.8cm (Beam)Height: (H) 5.24cm Height: (H) 30.48cmOars: (I) 48.26cm (12 oars) Oars: (I) 96.52cm (12 oars)Flag: (J) 25.4cm x 19.685cm Flag: (J) 50.8cm x 39.37cm See illustrations on the next 2 pages to follow... “The Voyage of The fox” © William barTh osmundsen, VicTor samuelsen 2012
  • 15. Flag: 10” x 7.75”Boa Staff: 15” L t Ht . (J) (H) 6” Boa t LO Sculpt Ht. OA 22” Sculpt Ht. OA 22” A (B) 39” (D) (E) Sculpt. LOA 49” (A) “The Voyage of The fox” © William barTh osmundsen, VicTor samuelsen 2012
  • 16. Boat Width 10” (G) Scu lpt. Oar Wid Len th O gth A 3 19” (12 Scu (B) 9” incl (I) oars lpt. u de Wid Oa r in t th w s ota l) / (C) o Oar s 27”“The Voyage of The fox” © William barTh osmundsen, VicTor samuelsen 2012
  • 17. Contact Victor Samuelsen, Project Coordinator E-mail: fantslake@aol.com Cell. 203-561-0005 Web Site: BronzeSea.org William Osmundsen, Sculptor E-mail: BILLOSMUNDSEN@aol.com Cell. 757-618-9550 “VOYAGE OF THE FOX” Model 1/6th Life Size;- Example Depicted Measurements & projected measurement for 1/3rd Life Bronze Sculpture © William Barth Osmundsen, Sculptor Victor Samuelsen, Project Coordinator Notice:- The enclosed is original Artwork © Osmundsen-Samuelsen 2012All rights of duplication or reproduction in any form are reserved by the copyright owners. This material is confidential to it’s recipient.

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