Maria Beasley Made Significant Improvements For The Life Raft
Maria Beasley is best known for her barrel-hooping machines and her improvements to the life raft. The patent for the barrel-hooping machine was Beasley’s first patent issued in 1878. The machine really sped up the barrel-making process and allowed the production of more than 1,500 barrels a day. She made a fortune from this invention, but didn’t stop here. After this success, she sought to create a better life raft. Before, life rafts were typically wooden boards. Beasley invented a new design that was water-proof and safer, that included guard railings surrounding the raft and rectangular metal floats. It was easy to fold and unfold. She patented it in 1882. Beasley’s life rafts were also used to save more than 700 people that were on the Titanic.