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St. Simons Real Estate Agent Takes a Brief Look at Life Preserver History

Have you ever looked around at the decorations often found in coastal homes and wondered about the history behind the item? If so, you are in excellent company. For proof, just take a look at the popular nautical history exhibits located at museums all across the country. This includes the museums located on St. Simons Island. Two of the items that you might encounter while on the island are life preservers and life preserver buoys. Thus, we thought that it might be interesting to talk briefly about their history.

Mae West Life PreserveYou may be interested to know that life preservers have been around since the 16th century. Of course they didn’t look anything like the life preservers of today. That’s partially because mariners spent time experimenting over the years with different shapes and materials. One of the more famous versions ever created was the Mae West. It surfaced in time for service during World War II. Over the years, several people have laid claim to inventing the iconic piece of nautical history, including Andrew Toti and Peter Markus.

Other famous designs that have surfaced over the years include a belt life preserver from WWII, a C-shaped life preserver worn by Major John Wesley Powell and the one from the famed ship, Titanic. The Titanic’s version was made with cork and canvas. The belt life preserver, on the other hand, was made with rubber tubing and canvas. It created by the Master Tire and Rubber Company. Major John Wesley Powell’s life preserver is rumored to have been made with canvas as well.

As we mentioned earlier, while visiting coastal Georgia properties, you may also encounter life preserver buoys. They date back to the 1800s and were said to have been invented by Thomas Kisbee. That’s why many coastal Georgia home and business owners often refer to them as Kisbee rings. The rings are frequently found hanging on walls and docks located throughout St. Simons Island.

To learn more about the coastal decorations that you’re likely to see while in the area, contact our St. Simons real estate agents. We can help you discover all that there is to love about living on Georgia’s gorgeous coast.


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