MORSE SHALLOW WATER NO. 15 DIVING HELMET!DIMENSIONS OF HELMET:21” H x 13 1/2” W
x 15 D
WEIGHT without weights 22 lbsTwo weights 17 1/2 lbs each Total weight
2012 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved
Presented is an authentic Morse No. 15 Shallow
Water diving helmet which was made in May 1951 and comes at the tail-end of production of this model. It is in excellent
condition considering its age and use with only a few dents and some of the normal marks of being handled. For
the past 40 years it was owned by a non-diver which accounts in part for its good condition. When received the 1/4
inch plastic lens was covered with surface cracks and almost completely frosted making it unsightly. It was
replaced by us with a new 1/8-inch sheet of Lexan. This helmet has a quite remarkable coloration which ranges
from the light green that darkens in areas to almost pitch black. This type of patina only comes from use in fresh water. We considered
polishing the helmet, but it would be a shame to forego its rustic appearance.
This helmet is unusual in design and has a
spectacular, rare patination
The design of the Morse No. 15 Shallow Water
helmet dates back to the 1930’s and production ceased in the 1950’s. It was primarily used for underwater work on vessel’s
bottoms and in various forms of under water construction. Sponge and Abalone divers preferred its large size viewing
port which was originally made in glass, but later changed to plastic.There is a
channel inside which vents to both sides of the viewing port with the air entering at the back.
Inside of new Lexan face plate
Showing vents from back to side
BRIEF 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 brass ware, 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. Morse was the first company to make the Navy MK V helmet, starting production in 1916. During the onslaught of
World War Two, DESCO and Morse provided most of the dive helmets for the navy. Because of the large amount of surplus helmets
that entered the market after the war, the diving business went in to a decline from its Glory Days. However, Morse has survived,
and has changed ownership a number of times, and continues in business in Rockland, MA.
The back has the same interesting patina
CONDITION and MARKINGS: This helmet,
Serial Number 6447. New 1/8 inch Lexan lens for the viewing port replacing a 1/4 inch lens that was not usable. Various dents,
abrasions and the usual mark of age, but nothing of significance.
The helmets is being offered for display only.
It has not been tested, and should not be used for any other purpose unless approved by a certified dive shop.