Timid of sea travel because of his inability to swim, a Japanese lawyer of Los Angeles, Calif., has invented and patented a mobile life preserver. Hand cranks at the sides of the device turn a pair of diminutive propellers, enabling the wearer to advance at fair speed while remaining erect in the water. Thus a non-swimmer may reach a nearby shore without waiting to be picked up. The photograph above shows the inventor wearing his odd life preserver. Note the propellers and the hand crank that operates them.

  1. john says: February 7, 20081:50 am

    it would be reasonably difficult not to note them!

  2. Neil Russell says: February 7, 20086:27 am

    I seem to remember a clip of this guy featured in the movie “Gizmo”.
    Just think, 10 years later and he would have been arrested for spy activities

  3. Ryan says: February 7, 20089:04 am

    Why refer to the guy as a “hand crank”? 🙂

  4. Firebrand38 says: February 7, 20089:07 am

    “Just think, 10 years later and he would have been arrested for spy activities”

    By Feb 1943 this gentleman would have been in a relocation center for a year already.

  5. Stannous says: February 7, 20084:01 pm

    LOL @ Ryan

    I looked at this hours ago and the same thought has bugged me all day-

    If the cranks are at the same level as the propellers then using them would create a splashing motion that pushed back against water thereby halting all forward progress. That is assuming that the two cranks turn in opposite directions (so that the hand movement is going in the same direction).
    Or, if they are turning in the same direction wouldn’t he then just spin in circles?

  6. Neil Russell says: February 7, 20085:37 pm

    “By Feb 1943 this gentleman would have been in a relocation center for a year already.”

    You think they let him take his floaty with him? 😉

  7. Firebrand38 says: February 7, 20086:20 pm

    He probably had to leave it in his house with his other possessions.

  8. Neil Russell says: February 7, 20087:03 pm

    FB; you got me to investigating exactly what did happen to the property of interred Japanese. There’s a short tidbit at Wikipedia… but it doesn’t go into a lot of detail. I’m still digging. As much as I have devoted time to studying the War, what went on inside our own borders is something of a blank spot to me.

  9. Githyanki says: February 8, 20084:10 am

    Stannous: the propeller fins look to be angled in opposite directions.

  10. Firebrand38 says: February 8, 20085:30 am

    I use Wikipedia very cautiously. Try this one for a dollar value of total losses http://timpanogos.wordp…

    ““There is no way to really know how much they lost,” Mr. Okihiro said in an interview, but he cited a 1983 study commissioned by a Congressional committee estimating that, adjusted for inflation and interest, internees had lost $2.5 billion to $6.2 billion in property and entitlements.”

    The “1983 study” can be found here… I set it to chapter 4 which addresses property losses.

  11. Neil Russell says: February 8, 20086:26 am

    FB, agree about the use of Wiki, but it’s usually the first thing that pops up on a search. Fascinating links as always, thanks!

  12. Firebrand38 says: February 8, 20087:46 am

    You’re welcome. Nothings too good for Captain Video!

    The paradox of Wikipedia is that because of the contributions by the Great Unwashed you have to have already have some knowledge of the subject in order to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  13. Plumbic says: June 19, 200912:40 pm

    Stannous, your claim that a splashing wotion would halt all forward progress is ludicrous. The bow of a boat creates a splashing motion, but it doesn’t stop anything. Furthermore, though we can’t see in which direction the operator turns the hand cranks, it is likely that they are arranged to work in a motion not unlike the doggy-paddle swimming stroke, further _improving_ the efficiency of propulsion. This is a clever invention, especially for people paralyzed from the waist down or others like this attorney who are uncomfortable in the water.

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