Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/198

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186
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

mons for wreck duty. Carriages of a peculiar construction are provided in England for the transportation and launching of these boats,

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Fig. 4. — Deck-Plan of Self-Righting Life-Boat, showing Manner of stowing Gear.

together with skids and rollers for returning them to their carriages; but at present in this country they are let down by the trap or inclined platform directly into the. water, the station being always at the water's edge. The surf-boats are provided with carriages, by which they are hauled from the stations abreast of wrecks. They are four-wheeled, with bed-pieces between each pair of wheels, on which the boat rests, and a long bar or reach connecting the front and back wheels, made separable half-way to enable the boat to be lowered to the ground by withdrawing a portion of the carriage. The American life-boat, invented by Captain J. M. Richardson, Superintendent of the First Life-saving District, five specimens of which are now in use, would seem to be better adapted for the service on our coast than the English, being considerably lighter and of less draught, and equally self-righting and self-bailing.

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Fig. 5. — Éprouvette Mortar, Faking-Box, and Match-Stave.

When boat service at a wreck is impracticable, resort is had to life-saving ordnance. The gun first in use was an éprouvette mortar, of cast iron, weighing 288 pounds, throwing a twenty-four pound spherical ball with a line attached thereto, its extreme range being 421 yards. This gave place to the Parrott gun, of cast iron, with a steel tube or lining, weighing, with its ash-wood carriage, 266 pounds, car-