Where Diving Helmets Come From

Professional divers rely on the best equipment around to make their job as safe as possible. With the many different dangers that await under the sea, having reliable technology is an important part of keeping divers safe. Because of this, the diving helmet of today introduces extreme safety precautions in the face of extreme dangers.

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Professional divers rely on the best equipment around to make their job as safe as possible. With the many different dangers that await under the sea, having reliable technology is an important part of keeping divers safe. Because of this, the diving helmet of today introduces extreme safety precautions in the face of extreme dangers. The diving helmet completely secures the head of the diver, also allowing for broad voice communication with the operation team above water and other divers. For example, if the diver were to be knocked unconscious while underwater, the diving helmet will continue to automatically pump air to the diver until he regains consciousness. This is unlike standard scuba gear which requires a conscious effort of using a breathing apparatus. So, if a scuba diver becomes unconscious, the chances that they will drown are much higher.

Augustus Siebe created the diving helmet and is considered to be the father of diving. Siebe was German born, and when living in England during the 19th century he devised the diving helmet. The Siebe diving helmet had on it a watertight seal as well as an air-containing rubber suit. Equipped with a land-to-diver air pump, Siebe’s diving helmet and suit became the first working application ever. The modern diving suits used today are more reflective of the closed diving suit that Siebe Gorman & Co developed. Siebe’s diving helmet secured perfectly to the rest of the suit for an air-tight experience not delivered in earlier helmets and suits. This proved to be a tremendous breakthrough in the capabilities of diving helmets. Siebe’s diving helmet and suit would go on to revolutionize 1830s undersea exploration. However, Alexander McKee stated that Siebe was merely the leading manufacturer of the designs made by the brothers John and Charles Deane.

The diving helmet also had many uses outside of the water. The air tight compartment of the diving helmet made it useful in the First World War to protect against mustard gas attacks.

Earlier deep sea diving helmets used only two to four bolts to secure it. In the 1960’s, the commercial diver Joe Savoie conceived the neck dam. The neck dam paved the way for a new series of lighter weight helmets to come about. Such types of lightweight helmets include the Superlight series that would come later. However, Savoie did not pursue a patent for his innovations because he only wanted to improve the safety of divers.

The next evolution in diving masks noted to be the full face diving mask. Keeping true to the name, the full face mask covered the diver’s entire face, using adjustable straps to hold it in place.

In 1975 the invention of the Kirby Morgan Superlite-17 helped shape a more modern diving helmet. The Kirby Morgan Superlite-17 was built with materials such as fiberglass shells and fitted with chrome-plated brass. The future of diving helmets was changed by the innovations of the Kirby Morgan Superlite-17. The diving helmet endured many long years of innovations in order to become the safest possible experience for divers. 
These days, diving helmets are featured in many museums and in the private collections of many beach house decor enthusiasts.

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