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Life Saving Service

Most medal collectors are familiar with the little cheaply made German badges called tinnies. They were issued from the time of the Kaisers through the Second World War. The most interesting one I have ever owned is this German Shipwreck Life Saving Association Badge featuring an old salt in a rescue boat. These types of rescue boats were common along the coasts of Europe and here in the US since most ship wrecks happened within sight of the coast and often near harbors. The early versions were row boats and after 1900 most were motorized. Just think of the strength, courage and will power it took to rush out to sea in the worst of conditions desperately trying to save the lives of total strangers. To give you an idea of what the boats looked like in 1913 I have scanned a picture postcard of the Life Boat Station on lake Michigan at Kenosha Wisconsin. They were involved in a major rescue effort in late October of 1929 but that is another story.