Nautical Instruments & Tools
Stock No. 4208
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Schmermuly Interntional Line Throwing Appratus - Click for the bigger picture

Schmermuly Interntional Line Throwing Appratus

William Schermuly was a mariner and inventor born in 1857 of Dutch origin, his parents having emigrated from Holland to England in the mid 1600's. Schermuly was one of the fathers of modern rocketry and whilst William started the family business, it was his 3rd son Alfred James Schermuly who invented and put into production the firms patented Line Launch gun. This pattern was first produced in the 1920's manufactured in a factory in Dorking Surrey, it was the first of its kind to use a rocket instead of gun powder to launch a rope to or from a boat in distress at sea. The firms business really took off after the passing of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1929 when every British registered ship of over 500 tons had to carry a line launcher. The Schermully invention proved highly successful in this task and over the years the system saved many lives at sea. This fine example is in superb issued issued condition. The firing mechanism is bronze with a varnished walnut grip. The device is clearly marked “Schermuly's Pat No 50332”. We have checked this patent and it was taken out by Schermuly and granted on September 3rd, 1937 covering Class 119, a pistol or other gun for discharging line throwing rockets or projectiles. The opposite side is stamped with serial number 1883 whilst the breach is marked with a crown over V, crossed swords and other stamps. Different laws apply to owning these instruments in different countries but we can confirm this example has been recently deactivated and it comes with it’s certificate and it is fully legal to own for display purposes by any UK collector. The breach still opens and the firing mechanism is fully operative but it will never launch another rocket in its retirement! Measures 23” (58 cm)