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Today is Plimsoll Day, What?

February 10, 2011

Our twitter account is @Gunwel and each day I like to tweet (one of my many tweets) from a list called Important dates to remember. And most times they can be silly days like “comb your Barbie’s hair day” or “tell your boss he’s cute day” but today we have “National Plim Soll Day.” I never heard of it nor could actually pronounce it…try it three times really fast and see how you do? So I had to look it up so I could tweet what it meant in 140 characters or less.  Here is the story of Samuel Pimsoll.

Today is the birthday of Samuel Pimsoll. He was born in 1824 in Bristol, England. He was a businessman and he fell on hard times. Yeah, he was miserably poor for a while. This experience made him promise to help their lot when he got rich again. At his time the ship owners had a scandalous practice of overloading ships, making them very dangerous. But they insured them so if they sunk, they got money anyway. Well, where did that leave the sailors who decided they were not going on those dangerous ships? They got to go to jail. Anyway, Mr. Plimsoll entered Parliament in 1868 in order to do something about the dangerous ships. The ship owners didn’t  like it, but after a lot of fussing around, he came up with the Plimsoll Mark. This mark can be seen on ships everywhere today. The line shows the highest safe level to load a ship. The different lines are for different water that the ships sail in because most of us know we float better in salt water and different water in different places float ships better than others. Here’s the kinds of water on the Plimsoll line:

  • TF – Tropical Fresh Water
  • F – Fresh Water
  • T – Tropical Sea Water
  • S – Summer Sea Water
  • W – Winter Sea Water
  • WNA – Winter North Atlantic

Can you believe it ? It was called “One of the greatest shipping revolutions ever known…” So Happy birthday Mr. Plimsoll and thanks for your work!  At GAI ( we love trivia and doing research like this. Sure it is not always about tax and accounting work, but not everything has to be. But when it is about tax and accounting work Gunwel Tax & Bookkeeping is on top of their game. We are here to help you with everything financial and then some. So give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. See you soon!

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