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The title of the series of work Shifts and Contrivances is taken from the book The Art of Travel Shifts and Contrivances in Wild Countries by the English polymath Sir Francis Galton FRS (1822-1911). The book was first published in 1855 and is still in print today. Galton travelled extensively in Africa and Europe and wrote travel books and survival guides based mainly on his own practical experiences and observations. The Art of Travel gives some rather good advice on how to survive in the wild and among other instructions contains a diagram showing how to construct a simple boat - which is the shape used in the Shifts and Contrivances series.