ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
George William Manby (1765-1854), English inventor. Manby was born and educated in Norfolk and after finishing school entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and served in the Cambridgeshire Militia. In 1807 he saw a ship run aground just 60 metres from shore in a storm, from which over 200 people drowned. As a result he invented the Manby Mortar that fired a line to from shore to a ship in distress. Manby invented the first portable fire extinguisher, filled with 3 gallons of potassium carbonate ash solution and compressed air. He was the first to advocate a national fire service and was vocal in support of the lifeboat service. He was made fellow of the Royal Society in 1831.
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