“Plate-Swimming” with Notes on the Science of Natation - R.H. Wallace-Dunlop c. 1877 - George Routledge and Sons, London - First Edition ‘What are “swimming-plates”? is the natural inquiry of a stranger to the system, and its answer may be prefaced by an extract from the manufacturer’s circular describing their aim and object, or what they effect.’

What are swimming-plates indeed! A likely question even today, more than 140 years since the publication of this rare, informative and rather amusing little book on the benefits of swimming with ‘plates’ and ‘flippers’, which according to the manufacturer’s description ‘give marvellous float power, diving power, endurance, and speed to swimmers’.

Illustrated throughout, and with a detailed appendix, including a list of London swimming baths, and directions for ‘Restoring the Apparently Dead’ from drowning, suffocation, and ‘narcotic poisoning’, as recommended by The Royal Humane Society.
  Robert Henry Wallace-Dunlop (1823-1888) was a member of the Bengal Civil Service from 1843. Educated at the old East India College and Haileybury, he was a lieutenant in the navy, magistrate, and judge, and later authored several books, including Service and Adventure, Hunting in the Himalaya and Notes on the Science of Natation. He was also a celebrated small-bore rifle shot. Wallace-Dunlop patented his devices for ‘plate-swimming’ in 1876.

References: ‘The Brisbane Courier’ 1888
Trove Archive, web.
Small 8vo. pp. 128. Original pictorial cloth in red, blue and black, with illustration of two plate-swimmers to upper cover and diagram of hand and foot -swimming-plates to lower cover. Publisher advertisements to endpapers.
  Condition: Very good, wear and rubbing to boards and spine, some spotting to edges, front free endpaper becoming detached from inner hinge.   Ref: 107645   Price: HK$ 1,200