Afloat in Sky: Lifejackets from Oslo by Air


The first record of personal floating devices made of inflated animal skins and used by Assyrian warriors is dated 870 A.C.

In the 19th century life vest made of wood and cork was developed by Norwegian sailors, while British Royal Navy prohibited it on the ships as life vests were used for escape by sailors kidnapped by them.

In 1920 heavy and uncomfortable cork vests were replaced by kapok, beyond and vegetable fiber. New vests were light and more comfortable, yet kapok was very flammable and lost its buoyancy if squeezed or pressed.

Decades went buy, and inflatable life were used by American and British airmen in 1940s. Later in 1960s Coast Guard put standards for use and regulations of life jackets designed as emergency flotation for open water. Those vests still did not ensure complete protection and drowned often.

The Type III jacket appeared in 1973 when Walbridge invented the “Hi Float” PFD with almost twice the buoyancy of the Coast Guard standard, designed for big water swims. It came as a kit with foam, fabric, thread and webbing for home assembly. Other major improvements took place in 1980s, 1990s and 2000s turning life jackets to be what is known to us.

In the beginning of October Delivery World shipped lot of life jackets from Oslo. The customer is completing customs clearance of the cargo, and soon the vests will be supplied to the vessels at destination.

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