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George Arthur Wardwell
19th-20th Century American engineer
United States
(Bucksport, Maine, 2/15/1861 - 7/3/1927, Bucksport, Maine)

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George Wardwell was a marine engineer from Bucksport, Maine. He worked for the Mason and Dix shipyard in Verona, Maine, while Robert E. Peary’s ship the SS Roosevelt was under construction in 1904 and 1905, and was so involved and interested in it that he signed onto be the ship’s engineer for both the 1905-106 and 1908-09 voyages. Peary approved of Wardwell’s “phlegmatic temperament, and evident capacity for work,” and he was a valued member of the crew. Wardwell was incredibly industrious and resourceful, qualities he was required to draw on numerous times, particularly during the Roosevelt’s maiden voyage when the boilers gave him endless trouble, and Peary’s and Captain Robert Bartlett’s excessive use of dynamite to clear ice from around the ship led to extensive damage to the engine room and rudder. Wardwell was also a very conscientious diarist, recording every day’s activities, including the weather, his dinner, and the work he did that day. Along with the crew of the Roosevelt Wardwell stayed with the ship for the entire time it was frozen into the ice at Cape Sheridan for both expeditions. On his return from the north Wardwell continued to work as a marine engineer, in Maine and for a time on the Great Lakes, based in Duluth. He died in Bucksport, Maine in July, 1927.

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