DAVID L. CLARK COPPER
Ca 1988 –
NEW OLD STOCK!
DIMENSIONS OF HELMET: 15 1/2” H x 16” W x 14 1/2″ D WEIGHT 40 lbs
Presented is a rare and desirable diving helmet that is in New-Never Dived condition. It is a 3 light David L. Clark
copper commercial helmet and carries serial number 13 on both neck rings and all the brails. This helmet was never
tinned and has no spit cock. The Clark company was based in Seattle, WA and this information is imprinted on the elbow
on the viewer’s right. This elbow accepts the communication wire. The star wheel on the left is to control the flow of
air. The helmet has been lacquered and the coating is in excellent condition. David L. Clark was a West Coast professional
diver who, at one time, worked for Art McCray the designer of the McCray helmet. Both designs feature a low volume bonnet
which allows the diver to work with his head down and which is of neutral buoyancy. For details on the McCray, see https://landandseacollection.com/id677.html The legendary David
L. Clark is alive and still residing in Seattle, but has not responded to our inquiry for information.
The right side exhaust valve has a push button release There is a company in Worcester, MA named David
Clark which is a long time military contractor of space helmets and some fiberglass diving helmets which should not be confused
with the Seattle, David L. Clark.
David Clark in his
shop alongside his copper 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.
Right & Left
side of the David L. Clark copper dive helmet
front door unscrews and the exhaust valve wheel turns. The air passages are all intact. The chin button is in place and
functions. The brails are original to the breast plate. There is a speaker in the comm cup. No tests have been
made to this helmet so it needs to be certified by a dive shop before using.
MARKINGS: The name D.L. Clark and Seattle, WA. and 04 is
imprinted on the elbow that accepts the speaker wire. The serial number 13 is on both neck rings and all the brails.
Made in the U.S.A. is on the back brail.
Inside of bonnet without
vents, Top. Inside of the breast plate. Lower view DAVID L. CLARK COMPANY HISTORY: The first thing to recognize is there are two David Clark companies,
both of whom have made dive helmets. Neither are currently making them. The older and larger company is based in Worcester,
MA and started operations in 1935 as a ladies undergarment manufacturer. During WW II, they made cloth aviation helmets for
the US Army Airforce, and after the war, started hey supplied flight suits. After the War, they added pressure suits
and fiberglass (GRP) helmets for jet aircraft and then for the various space programs which they still are doing today.
Using Airforce technology they made a GRP helmet for commercial diving. In the late 1960’s the east coast David Clark
Co. ventured into the deep diving mixed gas field. This was discontinued in 1970. The little we could find out about this David L. Cark is that he was a professional diver that
at one time worked for the Art McCray diving outfit out of Seattle. He is still alive, but did not respond when asked to contribute
to our knowledge base. Both Clark and Art evolved designs of low volume, neutral boyancy bonnets some think learning
from Ben Miller. We
are seeking additional information on David L. Clark and would appreciate receiving anything a reader might have to offer.The neck aperture and ring on the early hats were modeled on an American pressure cooker
mechanical seal. This mechanism may seem funky, but Ben Miller’s helmet was the first to use a Sears Company pressure
cooker Latex gasket. For the details see the Miller helmet we sold in 2015 by clicking this link. https://landandseacollection.com/id1117.html
The David L. Clark made copper helmets in the late 1980’s preceding the glass
hats that followed the design of the famous McCray West Coast helmets. The bonnets were spun on the West Coast and sent
to Morse for finishing. Morse also made the breast plates for the McCray and the David Clark helmets. For details on the McCray
see https://landandseacollection.com/id677.html Leon Lyons, the famous collector and author of the acclaimed, “Helmets of the Deep”
says that his example of the copper Clark helmet does not have the Clark name on the flange of the comm elbow.
A David L. Clark Company copper helmet is extremely rare
and will be a prized possession.