Samuel Plimsoll (February 10, 1824 – June 3, 1898) was a campaigner for safety at sea and the protection of mariners who led a huge public campaign in the 1870s. His Plimsoll line, a symbol on the hull of ships that showed the point at which a vessel could be loaded safely saved thousands of seamen’s lives and he would have been a popular figure at the time. Originally from Bristol, Plimsoll moved to London where he became a coal merchant, it was while in the city that he began to get interested in the welfare of sailors. His simple practical proposals met with opposition from unscrupulous shipowners, who were unafraid to overload their vessels with one eye on the insurance and no thought for their crew. Plimsoll’s campaign saw him become an MP as he campaigned for widespread change in merchant-shipping. The London Transport logo resembles the symbol used on ships for the Plimsoll Line, or Load Line since it was happy to benefit from the safe transport associations of the Plimsoll symbol. He also gave his name to the shoe, rubber and canvas footwear, so called because it could be immersed in water only up to a certain point.
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