Nautical Antiques & Marine Art at Land and Sea Collection™ Dive Helmets, Ship Models, Sextants

Miller 400 Bronze Dive Helmet

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Miller 400 Dive Helmet

This Fine Bonnet Has Been Sold.
Thank you!

RARE BEN MILLER 400
POLISHED BRONZE VINTAGE DIVE HELMET

 

Polished bronze Ben Miller dive helmet image

 

Ben Miller's philosophy: "Diving equipment is more than the tools of a man’s trade, it is his home under water, his environment for hours at a time. It should be designed to get him down and back safely so that all he has to worry about is his job, not the equipment!"

SPECIFICATIONS: 11" H x 11" W 14" D     Serial Number NA    Weight 27 1/2 lbs  

Presented is a very late Model 400 Ben Miller shallow water diving helmet. The design  was conceived and first introduced in 1967. This is its last iteration. It and the Kirby Morgan fiberglass clam shell helmets of the same years shared numerous similarities. The design philosophy that set the Miller helmet apart from the Kirby-Morgan was that it used off the shelf parts that were readily available from any hardware store to make up the helmet. For example, the neck seal is a kitchen pressure cooker seal, the harness was held in by vacuum cleaner belts, there were no special O-rings. The regulator is just a simple Scuba diving unit.

Ben Miller died in 2001, and the company has been in a state of Limbo ever since. However, Kirby Morgan, through their network of dealers, has stepped in and is handling replacement parts and service. Kirby Morgan is also moving forward with manufacturing a Ben Miller bronze dive helmet which may hit the market as early as next year. For comparison, we've been told it will be priced in the neighborhood of $8800.00 at retail.

Ben Miller dive helmet valve with markings image
 The intake valve with Miller Diving & check valve with S/R imprint  

CONDITION: This helmet is a Locker Find and requires a thorough going over by a certified hard hat dive shop if the intention is to dive it.  Otherwise, it has recently been polished and lacquered for display.  The name of its past owner is stamped at the front top of the helmet just behind the lens bezel. We don't know enough about the Ben Miller helmet to give an accurate summary of its condition. We believe it needs a neck dam, the upper and lower neck rings, and a new new interior liner, and the nose piece from the regulator needs to be replaced. The regulator should probably be replaced or at least rebuilt.

Like all used diving gear, this is being sold for DISPLAY ONLY. It should not be dived without having passed inspection by a certified dive shop.

BRIEF HISTORY OF BEN MILLER DIVING HELMETS: Benjamin A. Miller was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa. When he was 9 years old his family moved to Riverside, California where Ben finished his elementary, middle, and high school education. In high school, Ben bought his first motorcycle. This provided what Ben often called his “apprenticeship in metal”. His greatest pleasure was to design and chop motorcycles, which remained a lifelong passion. After graduation from high school, Ben joined the US Army and was stationed in Germany for 2 years.

In 1965, Ben returned to the US, where he visited his brother Gene Miller (1933-1999), who was a commercial diver living in Morgan City, Louisiana. Ben first worked as a tender for his brother, and in 1966 started work as a diver in the offshore industry for eleven years.

In 1967, Ben went to work for Ocean Systems Inc. where he used many helmets and masks. From this experience, Ben designed and built his own fiberglass helmet, which set him on the path as a manufacturer. In 1969, the bronze 100 Series helmet was built, followed in 1970 by the Miller Diving® quick release weight belt buckle. In November 1971, Ben designed the Miller Diving® harness which remains today as the industry standard worldwide. The Miller Diving® 200 Series and 300 Series diving helmets followed respectively in 1972 and 1977. The 400 Series diving helmet was the culmination of 30 years of experience. Ben left Morgan City in 1978 and relocated to Harper, Texas.

Thirteen years later, Ben passed away on April 8, 2001, in Lima, Peru. The cause of death was encefalopatia aguda, a rare genetic condition, which causes the brain and body systems to suddenly shut down. The company continued operations for some years making diving helmets, harnesses, and weight belts that were used worldwide throughout the commercial diving industry, but they have since closed. Based on a biography by John R. Kane / Historical Diving Society USA

The left side vview of the Miller dive hat image
The right side vview of the Miller dive hat image
Both sides of  the Miller polished bronze dive helmet

Like all used diving gear, this is being sold for DISPLAY ONLY. It should not be dived without having passed inspection by a certified dive shop.

 
The back of the Miller dive hat image
The front of the Miller dive hat image
The back of the Ben Miller dive helmet shown over its front view

Ben J. Miller was a small, but important figure in the Commercial Diving arena and was known for his simple, rugged, high quality dive helmets. His death and the subsequent closing of his business was a loss to his customers and supporters.

The inside of the Miller dive hat image
The inside of the Ben Miller dive helmet

 

OUR UNCONDITIONAL 'NO NONSENSE“ GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within five days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are refundable if due to our error within the continental United States.  

International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, Republic of China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Hebrides (Vanuatu), New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI, Vanuatu (New Hebrides) and the Eastern Caribbean.

SHIPPING & PACKING: In the United States this item will ship for $100.00 to the 48 contiguous States. 

STANDARD FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. Our prices are quoted net to us so that the use of credit cards or PayPal incur extra charges. Terms on overseas sales are different. 

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