Great Depression Era Shallow Water Helmet - 1 of a Kind!
During the Great Depression in the United States lots of ingenuity was employed to simply get by at times. For people that wanted to dive or attempt to make money shallow water diving - articles were published in magazines like Popular Mechanics on how to make your own diving helmet out of scrap materials. A helmet like this one would have been a very real option and tool for many people.
Over the years we have handled some great "homemade" shallow water helmets - they are one of our favorite types. By "homemade" we literally mean these were made by individuals from what ever material was available. In this case someone did a wonderful job of making this helmet out of galvanized tin! What looks like early ducting material with slight uniform bends throughout makeup the body. A simple steel handle on top was used and a brass port with glass window on the front. The right side of the helmet has a brass hose fitting for the air supply. The helmet is quite light weight and probably had weight strapped to it on the front and back to keep it on the diver. This helmet has a striking resemblance to the Tin Man from the movie Wizard of Oz. Being located in Kansas we need to find it a new home before a tornado whisks it away!
As a piece of diving history - this helmet is simply amazing and scary to think of being used! As a piece of American craftsmanship and insight into history - it's just super cool! No doubt another helmet like this one in this amazing condition does not exist. Guaranteed to draw attention of everyone that see's it!