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Frank Fackrell's life boat patent model

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Frank Fackrell's life boat patent model
Photo by Hugh Talman, Negative #: 2006-23058

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Marine Patent Models — Complete Catalog: 1870-1875

Technology
Marine Patent Models — Life boats and rafts

OTHER VIEWS
Frank Fackrell's life boat patent model
Frank Fackrell's life boat patent model


Frank Fackrell's life boat patent model
Frank Fackrell's life boat patent model


Patent drawing for Frank Fackrell's life boat
Patent drawing for Frank Fackrell's life boat


Patent drawing for Frank Fackrell's life boat
Patent drawing for Frank Fackrell's life boat


Life boat patent model
Catalog #: 325,946, Accession #: 249,602
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection

This life boat, designed by Frank J. Fackrell of Belleville, New Jersey, contains many novel features. It has a central well, open to the sea, in which hang adjustable weights to fine-tune the boat's center of gravity. Inlet and exhaust tubes run through the lower hull to prevent the mass of water in the well from "impeding the motion of the boat." Air tanks above these tubes increase buoyancy. The passenger compartment, with room for twelve, is covered by a watertight deck, through which the passengers' upper bodies project. "In order not only to keep the water from getting into the boat around the bodies of the passengers, but to assist in holding the passengers in the boat, around the top of each opening is secured a rubber safety-dress...." Fackrell stipulated, "These safety-dresses are made elastic, so that the passengers can stand up, and have a comparatively free movement without the trouble of having constantly to adjust or fasten and unfasten them."

Physical Description
The model is made of wood and metal and measures 24" L x 8 1/2" W x 6 1/4" D.
Details
Date Made:
1874
Locations:
New Jersey
Note:
Belleville
Credit:
Transfer from the U.S. Patent Office
History

Storms, fires, collisions, and rocky coasts have endangered lives as long as people have worked at sea. During the 1700 and 1800s, increased trade and passenger traffic placed greater numbers of people on the water, and better communication made more people aware of the accidents that happened. These trends combined with ideas from the Enlightenment that individual lives had worth and were worth saving, and that technology could apply science to overcome obstacles. One result was a surge in the creation and use of life-saving devices on both ship and shore. Lifeboat designs proliferated in particular, and Fackrell's proposal-although perhaps inefficient and impractical-is an excellent example of the emerging safety consciousness of the time.

Ref:

Frank Fackrell, Life-Boat, U.S. patent no. 151,767, June 9, 1874.


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