COMMERCIALVINTAGE DIVING HELMET 1945!
41 Years in Same Ownership DIMENSIONS OF HELMET:19 1/2” H x 16 1/2” W x 16″ D WEIGHT 58 lbs
INCLUDED Copyright 2013 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved Presented is a unique four light commercial diving helmet made by A. J. Morse & Sons,
Inc., which when viewed from the front, may be mistaken for a famous Navy MK V dive helmet. It has an unusual
coloration of various shades of vibrant green verdigris over a deep underlying brown patina. This gives it a dramatic appearance. The
serial number 6014 on each of the brails, and on the upper and lower neck ring all match and there is an inventory
control number stamped in the back of the bonnet and the breast plate. There
are numerous small dents all over the bonnet with three significant dents across the top. What sets this later style commercial helmet apart from the earlier versions
is that their sidelights are rectangular and horizontal rather than standing vertical. The side and top guards have
been modified by removing the center brace which may have been done to special order. PROVENANCE: The helmet was sold on August 22, 1945
to C. J. Hendry Co. of San Francisco which was a ship chandler and fishing supplier. It ended up with Oceaneering a commercial
diving company with operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The chain of ownership then went to a diver who is now deceased
who worked the oil fields of the Gulf. When Oceaneering transitioned to the new light weight fiberglass helmets, he was
given this hat as a memento. In 1972, he passed it on to a petroleum engineer of a major oil company who is the
immediate past owner. Banana exhaust, drop down lock,unmarked star wheel 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. Bottom of breast plate
Inside of bonnet CONDITION:
The front door unscrews and the exhaust valve wheel turns.The
air passages are all intact, one of them has been re soldered. The chin button is in place and functions. Field repairs
were made to stop leaking around the top light. Other soldering has wasted due to galvanic action over the years. There
are three significant dents across the top crown and many small dents. All
the ports are original and the left side glass is a replacement while the safety glass on the right
side is showing small bubbles. The brass screws, two bolts and one nut have been replaced. There is no speaker. Morse & Son, Inc., Boston, Mass., USA, on four lines. The number 6014 appears on both the upper and lower
neck rings and on safety of all four brails. The two front brails are stamped “front”. There is an inventory
control number 09-01-030 is stamped on the back of the bonnet and the breast plate.
point to inventory number and soldered field repair. BRIEF HISTORY OF MORSE DIVING In the arena of
deep sea diving, there are few companies with the longevity and correctly 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. As their expertise and experience grew over the years, they developed
a worldwide reputation as a major supplier of hardhat diving apparatus. Morse continues in business today in Rockland, MA.
A. Morse & Son, Inc. tag Serial numbers on upper and lower neck ring
DIVING HELMET Ca 1900!
DIMENSIONS OF HELMET: 18 1/2” H x 16 1/2” W x 16″ D WEIGHT
STAND NOT INCLUDED
Copyright 2012 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved
Presented is an early 3 light, 12 bolt helmet with an Alfred Hale tag in lieu of a Morse tag on
the breast plate. There is no record of how this tag got there. The Serial Number 1179 matches on the neck rings and all four brailes. The patina on this helmet is
an unusual, even reddish brown color on both the bonnet and breast plate suggesting it was refurbished at some time in the
Alfred Hale was established in Boston in 1837 which is the same year as A.J. Morse started business. Morse became a supplier to Alfred Hale Rubber Co. after they
entered into the commercial diving business. The Hale tag may have been added by them to the finished piece rather
than being stamped on the breast plate.
These customarily had the Hale company name stamped in the same position as seen in their catalog sheet.
The patina on this
helmet is an unusual, even, reddish brown color on both
the bonnet and
breast plate suggesting it
was refurbished at some time in the past. That said, it is in
outstanding original condition with very few dents and scrapes and all moving parts
functioning. The only modification
to this helmet from the original Morse design is the addition of a cup
on the back which is sealed on the inside, and has no obvious use.
From Alfred Hale Rubber Co., Boston,
This same style helmet appears in the 1910 Morse catalog on page 35 which by no way means
says it was not made earlier since this catalog is the earliest currently available as a reprint
at the present time. The Hale catalog sheet reproduced is of 1917. What is even more
interesting is that both A.J. Morse and Alfred Hale made the same style helmet.
Tag Imprint: Alfred Hale Rubber
Co., Boston, Mass.
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.
PROVENANCE: Purchased approximately 40 years ago by an airline
pilot, now retired,
from property owned by the Natoma Company. The Natoma Water and Gold Excavating
Company was founded in 1851 to provide water to mines in the area and was one of the
largest owners of water rights in Sacramento County, California. They completed building the Folsom Dam
in 1893, and during the process went through a reorganization in which their
various subsidiaries were consolidated into the Natomas Consolidated of California in 1912,
which in turn, became the Natoma Company. In 1953 much of the South Fork holdings were
sold to the U.S. government for the Folsom Reservoir project. and certain of their assets were
put in storage.
MARKINGS: The Morse name
tag is missing. In its place is an A. Hale tag with lettering correct for the period. However, the design is clearly
that of A.J. Morse. The number 1179 is stamped on the brails, upper and lower rings of the bonnet and breast plate and
dates this helmet to the Turn of the 20th Century.
A cup was added on the left back sometime in its life, but it is sealed on the inside, and was never wired for communication.
The front door unscrews and the early style exhaust valve wheel turns. The
air passages are all intact. The chin button is in place and functions. Field repairs were made to stop leaking. It
also was coated with a lacquer like substance at some time. The
bonnet shows numerous small dents in the front and on top with a large dent around the air inlet on the back. The red lead
bedding compound on the left port shows it to be an old replacement.
Bottom of breast plate
Inside of bonnet
BRIEF HISTORY OF ALFRED HALE RUBBER CO: Like Morse,
Hale started business in 1837 as Alfred Hale & Company at 17 Covington St., Boston, Mass. However, in the early years,
it was a manufacturer and supplier of rubber wading pants, rubberized cloth, rubber cement and other rubberized goods. It
did not start in the diving business until sometime around 1870 when helmets with their name first appeared. In 1869, their
catalog stated they were located at 23 School Street, Boston, and their product line consisted of Hale’s
improved submarine armor and diving apparatus, complete. Air pumps, helmet dresses, hose, weights, and every article necessary
for a complete diving outfit. The next record we find is in their 1917 catalog where it states that the company was
established in 1837 and conducted business in that form until 1900 when it became a corporation,. i.e. the Alfred Hale Rubber
Co, Inc. It also stated that they were a pioneer in the manufacture of diving outfits with 80 years of experience.
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 hard hat 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. At that time, the company operated as Andrew J. Morse & Son, under which it flourished
until 1940. Morse was the first company to make the Navy MK V helmet, starting production in 1916. As their expertise
and experience grew over the years, they developed a worldwide reputation as a major supplier of hard hat diving apparatus.
The company was incorporated as Morse Diving Equipment Company, Inc. In 1970. In 1998, the original company changed ownership
and became Morse Diving, Inc. Morse continues in business today in Rockland, MA.
Helmet numbers match
Early style exhaust control & lock
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