Founded in 1956 by Bernhard Markwitz, Bema is the original manufacturer of the inflatable armbands – swim aids designed to make the wearer float in water. Invented by Markwitz, when his three-year-old daughter fell into a pond and nearly drowned, the armbands at the time were made of cork. In 1964, Markwitz developed the armbands in their final form and marketed them under the name Bema Schwimmflügel, which literally means ‘swimming wings’.
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