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CA 1960
From Famous Diver!
In 1840, August Siebe was the inventor of the deep sea
diving helmet as we know it today.  His helmets are prized worldwide by collectors and divers making this helmet
with its very special provenance a find.
SERIAL NUMBERS:     Bonnet 18241,        Breast Plate 19147
WEIGHT 48 lbs  BONNET25 lbs     BREAST PLATE 23 lbs

Presented is a 12 bolt, 3 light Siebe.Gorman helmet, Circa 1960, that comes from the collection
of the former owner of a famous diving company whose abbreviated resume is below. It was purchased by him in 1979
from Star Offshore, a dive company which did offshore and civil work up and down the British Coast and North
From the collection of a USMC 1st Force Recon veteran, who after serving two tours in Vietnam,
and five years service, began a diving career that spanned four continents, and 20 years underwater experience before
becoming  a manager. The next years were spent as Oceaneering Manager of the Deep Diving Bell and
Saturation Systems for a large diving company.

In 1981, he founded his own deep saturation diving company specializing
in / 12 man
/ split level operations serving the needs of such companies as PETROBRAS. His company holds the longest running safety track record
in the world for deep diving operations to 300 meters having performed more than twenty years of safe diving operations without
a FATAL ACCIDENT. The dive support vessel (DSV) “Toisa Sentinel” under his supervision has performed
more than 4000 saturation dives in deep water to 300 meters without a fatal accident as well.

One of his personal missions
during this period was with a US Nuclear Submarine Operations scientist in Russia where they performed confidential shallow
water work off the coast of Murmansk inside the Arctic Circle. Murmansk was a central base of the
Soviet Nuclear Submarine Fleet during the Cold
War.Private operations were also conducted near the naval base of Severomorsk which today is
still the headquarters of the Russian Northern Fleet  In 1994, his company mobilized  another vessel with a 22 man split level saturation system on
the Support Vessel Toisa Sentinel. His crew on the DSV Toisa Sentinel had been operating continuously performing 24 hour
day, deep diving operation for Petrobras from 1994 until 2011. Selling
his dive company in 2001, he continued with them until 2005, at which time he began a saturation diving consulting business
in which he is active today.
<             Inside
bonnet, View 1              Bottom
of breast plate            Inside
bonnet, View 2
HISTORY:< Augustus Siebe the German-born founder of the firm which bears his name (1788-1872) is considered “the father
of diving”. Siebe’s ‘closed’ diving helmet, first produced in 1840, allowed divers to dive safely to greater
depths than ever before. Attached to a rubber suit, it became the ‘Standard Dress’ that revolutionized diving and made the
underwater worker an essential part of both salvage operations and civil engineering. Many of the great building projects
of the Victorian era – bridges, tunnels and lighthouses still in use today – could not have been built without divers. Siebe’s design was so successful that it remained in use essentially unchanged,
by the Royal Navy until 1989. Born in Saxony in 1788 and trained as a metalworker in Berlin, Siebe served in the Prussian
army against Napoleon before emigrating to London in 1816. He moved into 5, Denmark Street, a four-storey house dating from
the 1680s, in 1830. Located in St Giles-in-the-Fields, an area which has had a long-standing connection with the metal-working
trades, the property served both as his home and his commercial premises. Siebe manufactured his first ‘closed’ diving helmet in 1840. Previously, divers
had relied on ‘open’ helmets from which spent air had to escape beneath the rim of the helmet or below the hem of the diver’s
rubber jacket, increasing the risk of drowning. Siebe’s ‘closed’ helmet was bolted onto a modified diving suit based on the
open helmet dress, with divers receiving air from a pump on the surface. The suit was watertight and thus safer than earlier
types of diving dress. Together with special pumps designed by Siebe, it made diving to a depth of about 25 metres possible.

Siebe perfected the design of his new diving suit during the salvage operations
carried out between 1840 and 1843 on the warship HMS Royal George, sunk in 1782. Following this practical experience of salvage
work, his company became the known source for the safest and best of diving systems.
Siebe’s other inventions include a dial weighing machine, a paper-making machine,
and a rotary water pump. In 1850, he manufactured one of the first ever ice-making machines. Siebe won numerous medals at
the 1851 Great Exhibition and the 1855 Paris Exhibition, and was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers
in 1856. Siebe died at 5, Denmark St in 1872. His obituary described him as “retiring, kind
of heart and honourable in all his dealings.” The firm went out-of-business in 1999.
Bonnet 18241, Breast Plate 19147ALL BRAILES:17693

The helmet carries an old coat of lacquer which over
the years has developed a pleasing golden patina of age.  A speaker is installed. The number 17693 appears on the bottom
of each brail (strap). The inside neck ring of the bonnet is stamped 18241 and the breast plate, 19147. The air vents
are all intact.The right side chin relief valve, spit cock handle, front door, and all wing nuts, all turn easily. There
is no check valve. Except for some minor dents and evidence of use, the helmet has all its original parts and is in very
good condition.

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.  All brailes
are numbered 17693      
Exhaust valve and elbows
Back of helmet showing drop down lock

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Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

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