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Canvas stretcher

Date: 1960s
Overall (approx folded up): 1650 x 350 x 200 mm, 10900 g
Medium: Canvas, hessian, split cane, metal, rope
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the Trustees of the Sydney Training Depot
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Stretcher
Object No: 00047429

User Terms

    Hessian, split-cane and rope stretcher with canvas straps and metal buckles, used for lifting injured persons from situations such as a ship's hold.
    SignificanceThis stretcher is an important example of an early form of rescue device tailored for maritime use.
    HistoryThe main body of the stretcher is made from hessian reinforced with rods of split cane and topped with canvas, with canvas straps around the outside that buckle together to secure the person into the stretcher at various points. There is a square section at one end where the person's head would rest, with a canvas securing strap attached and marked: Head.

    Below this the stretcher has on either side a flap made of hessian and split cane that folds over to contain the person's shoulders and upper torso, and is secured with wide canvas straps and metal buckles. A second set of folding flaps appear lower down the stretcher, to contain the person's legs, also secured with wide canvas straps and metal buckles.

    The upper set of canvas straps are marked in red handwritten text Associated Steamships Pty Ptd Nicholson St East Balmain, and the lower set is marked Ambulance Station. Thick lengths of rope run along the underside and then up to each end of the stretcher. The ropes have wide loops at the top for attaching to a winch or moving device. The feet end of the stretcher features a canvas section with small metal rings attached.

    The stretcher is an example of first aid equipment used on and around ships where falls into holds or from masts were a standard risk. Its lightweight construction and configuration - designed to be strapped around the body - adapted it for such situations, and the possible need of transferring a patient from the ship.

    Associated Steamships Pty Ltd existed from 1964 to 1991, but the design of the stretcher probably dates it to a much earlier time.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Canvas stretcher marked Ambulance Station Associated Steamships Pty Ltd

    Collection title: Len E Forsythe Snapper Island Collection

    Web title: Canvas stretcher

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