Greathead's boat and Daniel's life-preserver, 1813.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by J Pass. Henry Greathead (1757-1816) built the first lifeboat, the 'Original', in 1790. Following the wreck of the 'Adventure' the previous year, in which all crew members drowned, William Wouldhave designed the boat which Greathead constructed, incorporating some of his own design ideas. Greathead claimed the title of lifeboat inventor and Wouldhave died without having his contribution acknowledged. The 'Original' served for 40 years before being wrecked on rocks, killing two. Also shown is F C Daniel's inflatable life-preserver. Illustration from 'Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or, Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature' published in London, 1810-1829.