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Captain George Manby

Introduction

 

Captain George Manby (1765-1854) was Master of the Great Yarmouth artillery barracks during the early 19th century and during his time there he designed many inventions for saving lives at sea.

He invented a system that used a mortar to fire a line onto stranded vessels. People were put into slings or breeches buoys and winched to safety along this line. This was the best known of Manby’s inventions and saved thousands of lives.

 

Manby was desperate for fame and recognition and toured Britain and Europe promoting himself and his inventions.

The following exhibition brings together objects in the Great Yarmouth collection which tell the story of his life and work.

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Captain George Manby

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A Stranded Vessel

The Snipe Gun-Brig depicted in this painting was wrecked off Yarmouth with the loss of 67 lives. Witnessing the disaster inspired Manby to invent his mortar and line, as a method of rescue from the shore. 

Never one to miss an opportunity for self-publicity, Manby patronised several young artists. This painting was probably commissioned by Manby to demonstrate how his invention could have been used to save lives.

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