Marine Link
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Captain A. P. Lundin


CAPTAIN A. P. LUNDIN, who is now Chairman of the Board and Vice-President of the American Balsa Company, Inc., is distinguished in the maritime world for his long- continued and persistent effort directed toward the improvement of life-saving appliances for sea use.

Years ago, while sailing in the tropics, he noticed that the natives of Ecuador used logs of a very light wood for making rafts. This wood was known as Balsa wood, "balsa" being the Spanish word for "raft," and Captain Lundin found it to be one of the commonest second-growth trees in the tropical jungles.

In 1906, becoming interested with Axel Welin in the formation of a company to take over the American and Canadian rights to cover the V/elin Quadrant D a v I t and other life- saving devices, Captain Lundin gave up the sea to devote his entire attention to that business. The Welin Quadrant Davit makes it possible for two men to swing out a fully loaded boat in one to two minutes, the davits meanwhile remaining locked in any position. In organizing the Welin Marine Equipment Company to market these davits, Captain Lundin took over the old-established life-boat business of the Lane & De Groot Company, which put the new concern in the field for general life- saving devices. Captain Lundin, seeing the need of better lifeboats, invented the Lundin type of boat, which has many advantages over the old standard type; these boats have a great reserve buoyancy and are almost impossible to upset.

At about this time the "Slocum" catastrophe in New York, which showed the unreliability of the ordinary cork life-preserver, impressed Captain Lundin to experiment with Balsa wood. He secured the rights to a process invented by Colonel R. A. Marr, of Norfolk, Va., and so improved it that Balsa wood can now be thoroughly waterproofed and preserved and used in

all kinds of ways for the manufacture of life-pre- serving appli-ances and attachments. These activities are now combined in the American Balsa Company, Inc., which owns the Welin Marine Equipment Company and the American Balsa Corporation, both of New York.

An especially important branch of the business is the manufacture of A-B-C rafts, which are large elliptical rings of Balsa of sufficient dimensions to float fourteen to sixty persons. These are now in very extended use on transports, navy ships and passenger vessels. The business of the company is very large with the various Governments, as well as ship owners.


The company's manufactures also include compensating quadrant cranes, standard metallic lifeboats with steel keels, metallic cylinder life rafts, Mill's releasing gear, Welin non-toppling blocks, Welin Gripe Release Gear, and Balsa insulation for ships, ice boxes, refrigerator cars, etc.

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