U.S. 885212: LIFE-PRESERVER AND SWIMMING MACHINE, 1910
A combination life preserver/swimming machine, which could be used both for recreation or “in a case of necessity, whereby in cases of accident or ship wreck the survivors may get safely away from the vessel and propel themselves to a place of safety.”
U.S. 243834: SWIMMING APPARATUS, 1881
“in the nature of a detachable suit provided with pockets or receptacles for the body and limbs, and having between the pockets for the limbs a web portion, which acts like wings or fins, which, from the movement of the legs and arms, effect a propulsion through the water.”
U.S. 964886: DEVICE FOR TEACHING SWIMMING, 1910
“designed for the purpose of teaching one the strokes and movements necessary for one to swim with ease … to be used on land and not in the water by which one acquires a habit of not only making the right strokes but also of making the right combination of strokes.”
The would-be swimmer lays on a base—his face sticking through, as though he were on a spa’s massage table—and cables are attached to his wrists and ankles. The right wrist cable passes over pulleys to the left ankle, and vice versa.