Schrader was one of the very low volume producers of Navy MK V’s
during WW II making this helmet highly desirable.
Presented is a fine example of a MK V helmet made for the U.S. Navy. It is an
authentic 12 bolt, 4 light Schrader Navy MK V dated October 1, 1942 with number 709A on the maker’s tag and number 757 on
the inside neck ring of the bonnet. The previous owner had it in his collection for the last sixteen years during which time
he had it lacquered and polished. Its interesting color is the result of much of the tinning be worn down, allowing the copper
to show through.This makes a light mauve cast in the pictures. There are many small dents and dimples over the bonnet, but
few on the breast plate.
HISTORY OF SCHRADER DIVING: Schrader is one of the oldest names in U.S. diving,
second only to Morse. The founder, August Schrader was a creative and inventive German immigrant who originally set up a shop
dealing in rubber products in New York City, NY
. in 1839, only a few years after A.J. Morse set up shop in Boston
In 1845 he began supplying fittings and valves for rubber products made by the Goodyear Brothers.115
Schrader was also a maker of daguerreotype apparatus. His original shop was at
. Shortly Manhattan, NY
thereafter he went into partnership with Christian Baecher. Christian was a brass turner and finisher which provided a foundation
for what followed.
The two partners, having watched divers at work at a nearby New York Harbor jetty, decided to improve
the diving helmets in use at the time. In 1849, with the help of Baecher, he created a new copper helmet. Later his interest
in diving led to him to design an air pump.
Around 1890, August Schrader saw the need for a bicycle tire valve. By 1891, he produced the Schrader
valve. The Schrader valve was his most popular invention, and is still used today.
In 1917, the United States Bureau of Construction & Repair introduced the MK V helmet and dress,
which then became the standard for US Navy diving until the introduction of the MK 12 in the late nineteen seventies. Schrader
and Morse Diving were the two original suppliers.
During the onslaught of World War Two only Morse and Schrader were making dive helmets for the
navy. Desco and Miller-Dunn went into production around 1943. In total only about 7,000 MK V helmets were produced by all
four companies during the war years with DESCO producing the most, then Morse, Schrader and Miller-Dunn. The scarcity of the
latter two are the reason they command a higher price in the market.
CONDITION and MARKINGS: The number 709A appears on the bottom of
each braile (strap), and the lower ring of the helmet. The air passages have been removed.The right side chin relief valve,
spit cock handle, front door wing nut, all turn easily. There is a telephone receiver and the cotter pin for the dumb bell
lock are in place. The check valve has a DESCO imprint. There are a number of the letter “N” imprinted in various places on
the helmet and breast plate.
The rectangular shaped brass name plate has serial number 709A and OCT-10-42 stamped on it. The combined
weight of the chest plate and bonnet is 52 pounds.
This helmet is being offered as a display item only, and should not be used for any
other purpose unless certified by a competent diving shop.
Navy inspector’s mark
SCROLL DOWN TO THE GALLEY FOR MORE PICTURESBRIEF 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.
SHIPPING & PACKING: The cost
of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, is an additional charge. You may email 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.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. We have customers
in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland,
Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Nova Scotia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland,
Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.ACCEPTED 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. No credit cards
or PayPal accepted on big ticket items.