Manby mortar

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Manby mortar, 1842 drawing

The Manby mortar was invented by Captain George William Manby, who was also the inventor of the portable fire extinguisher.

The mortar fired a shot with a line attached from the shore to the wrecked ship. It was used by the Waterguard and later by H M Coastguard for many years.

The first recorded rescue using the Manby apparatus was on 18 February 1808, with Manby himself in charge. The crew of seven were brought to safety from the Plymouth Brig Elizabeth, stranded off the shore at Great Yarmouth. It was estimated that by the time of Manby's death nearly 1000 persons had been rescued from stranded ships by means of his apparatus.[1]

In the year 1792, the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce gave a bounty of fifty guineas to Mr. John Bell, then a serjeant, afterwards a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, for his invention of throwing a rope on shore by means of a mortar from a vessel in danger of shipwreck ; and in the year 1807, the same Society furnished some further particulars, with a plate of the apparatus. [2]

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  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Manby, George William". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 
  2. ^ Philosophical Magazine Series 1, Volume 37, Issue 158, p455. 1811 url=

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