Lifesaving on the Thames
|The Thames: test tank and 'shop window'|
Favourite venue for testing
The initial trial took place from his home in Kew to Westminster Bridge where 'Old Father Thames seemed to have taken him under his special protection, wafting him over his waves like a duck'.
Another example was a sailing liferaft by Captain Wignhart, which he tested on the river at Westminster in 1858. Other inventions have included floating mattresses, lifebuoys, folding dinghies and cork life jackets.
Because London had become a centre for world commerce, International Exhibitions have been held here from the 1850s onwards. These have provided an ideal opportunity to promote new lifesaving inventions.
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