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Towing Collection

"Towing: A Testament to Strength and Resilience" Towing, a practice as old as time itself, has been an integral part of human history

Background imageTowing Collection: The Fighting Temeraire, 1839 (oil on canvas)

The Fighting Temeraire, 1839 (oil on canvas)
BAL444 The Fighting Temeraire, 1839 (oil on canvas) by Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775-1851); 90.8x121.9 cm; National Gallery, London

Background imageTowing Collection: Short Sunderland flying boat, WW2

Short Sunderland flying boat, WW2
Short Sunderland flying boat RBO, seen here being towed up a jetty. Date: circa 1940s

Background imageTowing Collection: Medusa Raft - 1

Medusa Raft - 1
When French ship wrecks on the African coast, all take to boats, towing a raft; but the boats abandon the raft with 157 on it, who suffer terribly and fight, only 15 surviving. Date: July 1816

Background imageTowing Collection: Jackup oil drilling rig, North Sea

Jackup oil drilling rig, North Sea
Jackup oil drilling rig. Ensco 80 oil rig being towed up the Cromarty Firth passing the town of Invergordon. Photographed in the North Sea, Scotland

Background imageTowing Collection: Saved by a female Bather

Saved by a female Bather
A gentleman bather who has found himself in trouble, is rescued by two extremely glamorous lady bathers. One has him firmly In Tow

Background imageTowing Collection: Douglas Dakota picking up a glider, Normandy; Second World W

Douglas Dakota picking up a glider, Normandy; Second World W
Illustration showing a Douglas Dakota, C-47 Skytrain, swooping down with a hook trailing to pick up a Waco glider, Normandy, France, 1944

Background imageTowing Collection: Blitz in London -- Auxiliary towing vehicle and trailer, WW2

Blitz in London -- Auxiliary towing vehicle and trailer, WW2
An example of an Auxiliary towing vehicle and its trailer pump, used during the London Blitz. Such units would have been allocated to sub-stations (under the control of a regular fire station)

Background imageTowing Collection: Humber Vintage Car towing a Humber-built Monoplane - (The first all-British aviation

Humber Vintage Car towing a Humber-built Monoplane - (The first all-British aviation meeting), Dunstall Park, Wolverhampton, Midlands, England. Date: 1910

Background imageTowing Collection: Short S29 Stirling towing Horsa

Short S29 Stirling towing Horsa

Background imageTowing Collection: The Nile Expedition, towing the Whale-Boats with Troops through the First Gate of the Second

The Nile Expedition, towing the Whale-Boats with Troops through the First Gate of the Second Cataract (engraving)
1623022 The Nile Expedition, towing the Whale-Boats with Troops through the First Gate of the Second Cataract (engraving) by Overend

Background imageTowing Collection: 1937 Hillman 14 towing caravan. Creator: Unknown

1937 Hillman 14 towing caravan. Creator: Unknown
1937 Hillman 14 towing caravan

Background imageTowing Collection: Bristol Beaufighter TT Mk. 10 RD758, Bahrain

Bristol Beaufighter TT Mk. 10 RD758, Bahrain
Built as a Beaufighter TF.X (Torpedo Fighter version) RD758 was converted to a TT.X, for target towing Date: 1956

Background imageTowing Collection: Girder Train

Girder Train
circa 1928: A traction engine towing a giant girder down Farringdon Street, London, in the early hours of the morning. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Background imageTowing Collection: Oil drilling rigs, North Sea

Oil drilling rigs, North Sea
Oil drilling rigs. Ensco 80 jackup oil rig (left) being towed past the Arctic 2 anchored semi-submersible rig (right). Photographed in the Cromarty Firth, near Invergordon, Scotland

Background imageTowing Collection: Shepperton Flood 1929

Shepperton Flood 1929
Three men wading through the River Thames, towing a boat loaded with a crate containing a large sow, part of the animal farm belonging to Mrs. Brown of Shepperton, England

Background imageTowing Collection: Royal Artillery, a field gun team on the march, 1897 (oil on canvas)

Royal Artillery, a field gun team on the march, 1897 (oil on canvas)
NAM237644 Royal Artillery, a field gun team on the march, 1897 (oil on canvas) by Hale, Edward Matthew (1852-1924); 30.3x45.7 cm; National Army Museum, London; eNational Army Museum; English

Background imageTowing Collection: Wounded but Victorious, c1916 (1919). Artist: Charles John De Lacy

Wounded but Victorious, c1916 (1919). Artist: Charles John De Lacy
Wounded but Victorious, c1916 (1919). A British battlecruiser being towed into port after the Battle of Jutland. The Battle of Jutland was the largest naval battle fought by the British Royal Navys

Background imageTowing Collection: Curtiss H12 Large America, 8671, being warped aboard a t?

Curtiss H12 Large America, 8671, being warped aboard a t?
Curtiss H12 Large America, 8671, being warped aboard a towing lighter

Background imageTowing Collection: Morris Commercial C8 FAT

Morris Commercial C8 FAT
Royal Artillery - Morris Commercial C8 FAT (aka Quad), towing a limber and Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun. Date: circa 1942

Background imageTowing Collection: Fiat G-91R/3 99+08

Fiat G-91R/3 99+08
Luftwaffe - Fiat G-91R/3 99+08 (msn D459), of Condor Flight, with target towing role equipment on the port wing pylons. Date: circa 1990

Background imageTowing Collection: An engraving depicting a tug towing a ship into the harbour at night, its path lit by arc lights

An engraving depicting a tug towing a ship into the harbour at night, its path lit by arc lights
5311595 An engraving depicting a tug towing a ship into the harbour at night, its path lit by arc lights. The coming of powerful electric light meant that boats could take advantage of the high tide

Background imageTowing Collection: Landing a 155 mm gun at Sedd-ul [i.e. Sedd-el] Bahr, 1915. Creator: Bain News Service

Landing a 155 mm gun at Sedd-ul [i.e. Sedd-el] Bahr, 1915. Creator: Bain News Service
Landing a 155 mm gun at Sedd-ul [i.e. Sedd-el] Bahr, 1915. Warships near the Gallipoli Penninsula, Turkey during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I

Background imageTowing Collection: German aeroplane transport, 13 Apr 1915. Creator: Bain News Service

German aeroplane transport, 13 Apr 1915. Creator: Bain News Service
German aeroplane transport, 13 Apr 1915 (date created or published later). A German airplane being transported by a vehicle during World War I

Background imageTowing Collection: Be careful!

Be careful!
Victoria Glinka

Background imageTowing Collection: H.M.S. 'Termagant' convoying the gun-boats 'Grappler'

H.M.S. "Termagant" convoying the gun-boats "Grappler" and "Forward" through the Straits of Magellan: steaming through the ice in Wide Channel - from a sketch by C

Background imageTowing Collection: Convoi d'artillerie automobile, 1918. Creator: Unknown

Convoi d'artillerie automobile, 1918. Creator: Unknown
Convoi d'artillerie automobile, 1918. From "L'Album de la Guerre 1914-1919, Volume 2" [L'Illustration, Paris, 1924]

Background imageTowing Collection: Au Volant; Tracteurs d'une piece de 240: voiture-affut et voiture-piece, 1918. Creator: Unknown

Au Volant; Tracteurs d'une piece de 240: voiture-affut et voiture-piece, 1918. Creator: Unknown
Au Volant; Tracteurs d'une piece de 240: voiture-affut et voiture-piece, 1918. From "L'Album de la Guerre 1914-1919, Volume 2" [L'Illustration, Paris, 1924]

Background imageTowing Collection: Au Volant; Tracteurs d'une piece de 240: voiture-affut et voiture-piece, 1918. Creator: Unknown

Au Volant; Tracteurs d'une piece de 240: voiture-affut et voiture-piece, 1918. Creator: Unknown
Au Volant; Tracteurs d'une piece de 240: voiture-affut et voiture-piece, 1918. From "L'Album de la Guerre 1914-1919, Volume 2" [L'Illustration, Paris, 1924]

Background imageTowing Collection: Towing boat, c.1860-c.1888. Creator: Anton Mauve

Towing boat, c.1860-c.1888. Creator: Anton Mauve
Towing boat, c.1860-c.1888

Background imageTowing Collection: L'etat de Guerre; Nos hommes partent fleuris, leur materiel pare de drapeaux, 1914. Creator: Unknown

L'etat de Guerre; Nos hommes partent fleuris, leur materiel pare de drapeaux, 1914. Creator: Unknown
L'etat de Guerre; Nos hommes partent fleuris, leur materiel pare de drapeaux, 1914. From "L'Album de la Guerre 1914-1919, Volume I" [L'Illustration, Paris, 1924]

Background imageTowing Collection: Coucher de Soleil dans la Plaine de L'Yser: Piece de 75 Allant Prendre Position, 1914

Coucher de Soleil dans la Plaine de L'Yser: Piece de 75 Allant Prendre Position, 1914. From "L'Album de la Guerre 1914-1919: Volume I". [L'Illustration, Paris, 1926]

Background imageTowing Collection: Steam launch carrying six over-crowded boat loads soldiers to landing, Chemulpo, c1904

Steam launch carrying six over-crowded boat loads soldiers to landing, Chemulpo, c1904. Creator: Robert Lee Dunn
Steam launch carrying six over-crowded boat loads soldiers to landing, Chemulpo, c1904

Background imageTowing Collection: Short S. 38 - SA. 1 Sturgeon S. 1 RK797

Short S. 38 - SA. 1 Sturgeon S. 1 RK797
Short S.38/SA.1 Sturgeon S.1 RK797, the first prototype of a new carrier-borne strike and reconnaissance aircraft for the Royal Navy

Background imageTowing Collection: New Type 45 Destroyer HMS Duncan Begins her Sea Trials

New Type 45 Destroyer HMS Duncan Begins her Sea Trials
Brand new Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan is escorted to begin her first sea trials off Scotland. Duncan, the Royal Navys sixth and final powerful new Type 45 Destroyer

Background imageTowing Collection: Panama, Panama Canal, Cargo ship at Pedro Miguel Locks

Panama, Panama Canal, Cargo ship at Pedro Miguel Locks

Background imageTowing Collection: The shipwreck in the Atlantic ocean on Skeleton Coast near Swakopmund in Namibia, Africa

The shipwreck in the Atlantic ocean on Skeleton Coast near Swakopmund in Namibia, Africa. Landscape photography The shipwreck in the Atlantic ocean on Skeleton Coast near Swakopmund in Namibia

Background imageTowing Collection: Towing a pilot cobble in 1907

Towing a pilot cobble in 1907 Date: 1907

Background imageTowing Collection: Horse towing barge on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Horse towing barge on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Date: circa 1900s

Background imageTowing Collection: L'Atlantique liner towed into Cherbourg harbour

L'Atlantique liner towed into Cherbourg harbour
The burned out shell of French luxury cruise liner L'Atlantique towed into Cherbourg harbour Date: 1933

Background imageTowing Collection: Death of a stuntman, Eastbourne

Death of a stuntman, Eastbourne
Death of a stuntman at Arlington Stadium, near Eastbourne. John Bell, aged 23, was being towed behind a car on a wooden sledge when, as part of the stunt

Background imageTowing Collection: Avro 652 Anson I N4877 - G-AMDA

Avro 652 Anson I N4877 - G-AMDA of the Skyfame museum at Staverton Airport N4877 was built at the Avro factory at Newton Heath, Manchester and was taken on charge by the Royal Air Force on Nov 17

Background imageTowing Collection: Red Zone

Red Zone
Andrea Comari

Background imageTowing Collection: On board the fishin boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1943. Creator: Gordon Parks

On board the fishin boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1943. Creator: Gordon Parks
On board the fishin boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The bow of the Alden nosing out to the sea early in the morning

Background imageTowing Collection: The Japanese Barque (coloured litho)

The Japanese Barque (coloured litho)
BAL42840 The Japanese Barque (coloured litho) by Lenoir, Paul (1843-81) (after); O Shea Gallery, London, UK

Background imageTowing Collection: CAMUNI Rock n. 23 with figure of four-wheeled carriage drawn by horses

CAMUNI Rock n. 23 with figure of four-wheeled carriage drawn by horses, petroglyphs on Permian sandstone
6202884 CAMUNI Rock n. 23 with figure of four-wheeled carriage drawn by horses, petroglyphs on Permian sandstone. by Prehistoric; (add.info.: CAMUNI Rock n)

Background imageTowing Collection: Bump Into, 1876 (oil on canvas)

Bump Into, 1876 (oil on canvas)
OVR364959 Bump Into, 1876 (oil on canvas) by Thaulow, Fritz (1847-1906); 90x154 cm; Private Collection; Photo © O. Vaering

Background imageTowing Collection: CAMUNI Figure of four-wheeled wagon

CAMUNI Figure of four-wheeled wagon
6202881 CAMUNI Figure of four-wheeled wagon by Prehistoric; (add.info.: CAMUNI Figure of four-wheeled wagon. Capo di Ponte, Valle Camonica hill of Naquane National Park of rock engravings)

Background imageTowing Collection: CAMUNI Rock n. 23 with figure of four-wheeled carriage drawn by horses

CAMUNI Rock n. 23 with figure of four-wheeled carriage drawn by horses, petroglyphs on Permian sandstone
6202883 CAMUNI Rock n. 23 with figure of four-wheeled carriage drawn by horses, petroglyphs on Permian sandstone. by Prehistoric; (add.info.: CAMUNI Rock n)



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"Towing: A Testament to Strength and Resilience" Towing, a practice as old as time itself, has been an integral part of human history. From the iconic painting "The Fighting Temeraire" depicting a majestic ship being towed away by a steam-powered vessel in 1839, to the infamous Medusa Raft -1 that was left adrift at sea until rescued by another ship, it has proven its worth in dire situations. During World War II, the Short Sunderland flying boat showcased its towing capabilities when it successfully pulled damaged aircraft out of harm's way. Similarly, the Jackup oil drilling rig in the treacherous waters of the North Sea relied on towing vessels for stability and safety. In moments of peril, even unexpected heroes emerge. The heartwarming story of being saved by a female bather illustrates how human kindness can extend beyond land and into water rescue operations. The Douglas Dakota picking up a glider during Normandy's Second World War invasion exemplifies teamwork and resourcefulness. This act not only symbolized hope but also demonstrated how different vehicles could work together towards a common goal. During London's Blitz in World War II, auxiliary towing vehicles played an essential role in evacuating people from danger zones swiftly. These unsung heroes ensured that citizens found solace amidst chaos. From land to air travel advancements came hand-in-hand with towing innovations. The Humber Vintage Car proudly towed Humber-built Monoplane – marking Britain's first all-British aviation achievement – showcasing how diverse modes of transportation can come together harmoniously. As society progressed post-war era saw leisurely pursuits like caravanning gain popularity; captured perfectly by an unknown creator who immortalized a 1937 Hillman 14 effortlessly pulling along a caravan through picturesque landscapes. Even military forces recognized the importance equipment such as Bristol Beaufighter TT Mk. 10 RD758 stationed in Bahrain during World War II.