Patent Model, Life Boat

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In 1845, Joseph Francis patented the use of stamped corrugated metal to make boats. Through collaboration with the Novelty Iron Works in New York, he began to manufacture lifeboats, military cutters, and coastal rescue craft, along with other marine safety gear. His sturdy products proved popular, and he sold many to commercial steamship operators, life-saving stations, and the United States Navy. By 1853, strong sales warranted the construction of a dedicated factory at Green Point, New York, where each hydraulic press could turn out parts for 40 boats a day. Francis continually experimented with new designs for his stamping process, and this patent model reflects changes to the shape of his boats’ corrugations that he developed in the late 1850s. Date: 1850s. Record ID: nmah_844264.

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