Hard Hat Diving
Siebe Gorman Royal Navy Dive Helmet
Diving helmets are worn by mainly by professional divers engaged in surface supplied diving.
The helmet seals the whole of the diver's face from the water, allows the diver to see, provides the diver with breathing gas, provides an anchor point on the diver for the umbilical supplying the breathing gas, protects the diver's head when doing heavy or dangerous work, and provides voice communications with the surface. If the diver becomes unconscious, the helmet is more secure than breathing from a mouthpiece, which must be gripped between the teeth.
Types: Major types of deep sea diving helmets range from the "no bolt" helmet; two bolt to four bolt helmets; helmets with six, eight, or 12 bolts; and Two-Three, Twelve-Four, and Twleve-Six bolt helmets. The modern commercial helmet is the Superlite-17B helmet. Light-weight "transparent dome" type helmets used recreationally, or by television presenters who want the whole face to be seen by the audience.
Diving helmets appear: *1829: Charles and John Deane of Whitstable in Kent in England design the first air-pumped diving helmet. It is said that the idea started from a crude emergency rig-up of a fireman's water-pump (used as an air pump) and a knight-in-armour helmet used to try to rescue horses from a burning stable.
* 1828 Englishmen Charles & John Deane, based on earlier work in 1823 developing a "smoke helmet," devise a similar helmet with a diving suit. However the suit was not attached to the helmet so a diver could not bend over or invert without risk of flooding the helmet and drowning. Nevertheless, the diving system is used in salvage work, including the successful removal of cannon from the British warship HMS Royal George in 1834-35. This 108-gun fighting ship sank in 65 feet of water at Spithead anchorage in 1783.
* 1829: E. K. Gauzen, a Russian naval technician of Kronshtadt naval base (a district of Saint Petersburg), offers a "diving machine". His invention was an air-pumped metallic helmet strapped to a leather suit (an overall). The bottom of helmet is open. The helmet is strapped to the leather suit by metallic tape. Gauzen's diving suit and its further modifications were used by the Russian Navy until 1880. The modified diving suit of the Russian Navy, based on Gauzen's invention, was known as "three-bolt equipment".
* 1837: Following up Leonardo's studies, and those of Halley the astronomer, Augustus Siebe develops standard diving dress, a sort of surface supplied diving apparatus.
* 1837 By attaching the Deane brothers helmet to a suit, Augustus Siebe develops the Siebe "Closed" Dress combination diving helmet and suit, considered the foundation of modern diving dress. This was a significant evolution from previous models of "open" dress that did not allow a diver to invert. (Siebe-Gorman went on to manufacture helmets continuously until 1975).
* 1839 Canadian inventors James Eliot and Alexander McAvity of Saint John, New Brunswick patent an "oxygen reservoir for divers", a device carried on the diver's back containing "a quantity of condensed oxygen gas or common atmospheric air proportionate to the depth of water and adequate to the time he is intended to remain below".
* Around 1842: The Frenchman Joseph Cabirol starts making standard diving dress.
* 1843 Based on lessons learned from the Royal George salvage, the first diving school is set-up by the Royal Navy.
* 1856: Wilhelm Bauer starts the first of 133 successful dives with his second submarine Seeteufel. The crew of 12 was trained to leave the submerged ship through a diving chamber.
* 1860: Giovanni Luppis, a retired engineer of the Austro-Hungarian navy, demonstrates a design for a self-propelled torpedo to emperor Franz Joseph.
* 1863: CSS Hunley becomes the first submarine to sink a ship, the USS Housatonic, during the American Civil War.