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

1919 MORSE NAVY MK V BONNET DIVING HELMET

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This Fine Bonnet Has Been Sold. Thank You!1919 MORSE NAVY MK V DIVING BONNET!


DIMENSIONS OF BONNET: 13.5” H x 14” W   WEIGHT 32 lbs
Copyright 2005 by Land And Sea Collection, All Rights Reserved.
 
 
Presented is an authentic 12 bolt, 4 light Morse Navy MK V diving helmet which is was made in 1919 thereby being one of the earliest MK V's built is being offered without a breast plate. Mark V Helmets produced by Morse, Desco, Schrader and Miller-Dunn, the manufacturers were made to U. S. Navy specifications so the parts could be interchanged when necessary. This means that this bonnet will most likely fit any MK V breast plate.
 
Morse records show that SN 2683 was made in 1919, and shipped to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Because this was so early in the game, it predates when the USN hats had the special anchor cartouche stamped on them which started around WW II. In 1925, the helmet was surveyed out of the Navy into commercial service, but to whom is not known. 
 
At ninety years old it shows lots of use. You will note the heavy soldering around the banana exhaust, some ports, and certain other parts. These were done over the years to stop leaks. We think they add a lot of character and show its lengthy history, others might think they distract form its appearance. Our opinion is that they make this MK V a very distinctive and desirable bonnet.
 
CONDITION:  This bonnet has seen ninety years of service and has the dents, and built up soldering to attest to its longevity. Its deep dark patina has a redish cast which is quite dramatic and unusual. It is complete in all respects with all moving parts operating and guaranteed authentic. However, it is being offered as a display item only, and should not be used for any other purpose unless certified by a competent diving shop. The number 2683 appears on the neck ring. All the air passages inside are intact. The helmet weighs 32 pounds.
 
HISTORY OF MORSE DIVING: In the arena of deep sea diving, there are few companies with the longevity and history of Morse Diving.  The company was founded in 1837 as a Boston maker of brassware, three years before Englishman Augustus Siebe manufactured its first closed air dive helmet. During the Civil War, the firm commenced building maritime fittings and began experimenting with early underwater hardhat designs from Siebe-Gorman and other pioneering makers. In 1864, Andrew Morse bought out his partner, introduced his sons into the business, and began to focus on creating new products for underwater salvage expeditions. As their expertise and experience grew over the years, they developed a worldwide reputation as a major supplier of hardhat diving apparatus. Morse was the first company to make the Navy MK V helmet, starting production in 1916. During the onslaught of World War Two only Morse and then Schrader were making dive helmets for the Navy. Desco and Miller-Dunn went into production around 1942 or 1943. In total only about 7,000 MK V helmets were produced by all four companies during the war years.
 
                         Left side
                       Inner Workings

BRIEF HISTORY of NAVY MK V DEEP SEA DIVING DRESS:
 
By 1905, the Bureau of Construction and Repair had designed the MK V Diving Helmet which seemed to address many of the problems encountered in diving. This deep-sea outfit was designed for extensive, rugged diving work and provided the diver maximum physical protection and some maneuverability.
 
The 1905 MK V Diving Helmet had an elbow inlet with a safety valve that allowed air to enter the helmet, but not to escape back up the umbilical if the air supply were interrupted. Air was expelled from the helmet through an exhaust valve on the right side, below the port. The exhaust valve was vented toward the rear of the helmet to prevent escaping bubbles from interfering with the diver’s field of vision.
 
By 1916, several improvements had been made to the helmet, including a rudimentary communications system via a telephone cable and a regulating valve operated by an interior push button. The regulating valve allowed some control of the atmospheric pressure. A supplementary relief valve, known as the spitcock, was added to the left side of the helmet. A safety catch was also incorporated to keep the helmet attached to the breast plate. The exhaust valve and the communications system were improved by 1927, and the weight of the helmet was decreased to be more comfortable for the diver.
 
After 1927, the MK V changed very little. It remained basically the same helmet used in salvage operations of the USS S-51 and USS S-4 in the mid-1920s. With its associated deep-sea dress and umbilical, the MK V was used for all submarine rescue and salvage work undertaken in peacetime and practically all salvage work undertaken during World War II. The MK V Diving Helmet was the standard U.S. Navy diving equipment until succeeded by the MK 12 Surface-Supplied Diving
 
In February 1980 the MK 12 was replaced by the MK 21 in December 1993.
 

 
OUR GUARANTEE OF SATISFACTION: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within five days of receipt in its original condition and packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. A prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Unfortunately, no refund can be made for the cost of shipping, packaging and handling unless we are at fault.

INTERNATIONAL BUYERS WELCOME, but contact us first. There are extra costs. We have customers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Nova Scotia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.
 
SHIPPING & PACKING: The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated after the auction and is an additional charge. You may email us beforehand to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.
 
ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, money order, Western Union wire transfer, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. No credit cards or PayPal accepted on big ticket items.
                                     Copyright 2005 by Land And Sea Collection, All Rights Reserved.