from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A water-tight chamber used for conveying people ashore from a wreck.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • After posting my Word of the Day limerick on life-car I became curious to see what one looked like and to know if they had ever been put to practical use, so I ventured on to the net and discovered an interesting story.

    An American named Joseph Francis invented the life-car in the mid 19th Century and it was used in the saving of many lives from wrecks near the shore. Francis’s achievement seems to have been first recognized by foreign nations and he received recognition and awards from many countries. He was in Europe, perhaps to accept some of these accolades, when a Captain Douglass Ottinger of the United States Revenue Cutter Service applied to congress for a grant to recompense him for the invention of the life-car. Since Francis was not there to dispute Ottinger’s claim the congress awarded Ottinger $10,000. Only many years later was Francis recognized by congress with a gold medal. You can read an account of the matter here and see an image of a life-car here.

    How shameful that envious strife mar
    What ought to be Francis's bright star,
    For Ottinger's claim
    Occluded his fame
    For gifting the world with his life-car.

    October 6, 2016

  • The best choice for rescue by far -

    As cozy as man and his wife are!

    When next you're ship-wrecked

    Be sure you select

    The safety and speed of the life-car!

    October 6, 2016