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A. J. MORSE & SON
DIVING HELMET Ca 1900!
DIMENSIONS OF HELMET: 18 1/2” H x 16 1/2” W x 16" D WEIGHT
STAND NOT INCLUDED
2012 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved
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 past.
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.
HALE HELMET WITH MORSE TAG: An example of a known Alfred Hale helmet, serial number 3, with a Morse tag is discussed
on the Diving Heritage site. See http://www.divingheritage.com/halekern.htm
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.
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.
Early style exhaust control & lock
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OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase
it may be returned within five days of receipt in its original packaging if without damage. Return items must be insured for
their full value. Only a prior email authorization from us for the return is required. Shipping charges are included in this
offer within the continental United States. if an error is due to our fault.
SHIPPING & PACKING: The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination
is an additional charge. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging
materials and handling. Within the continental United States, a helmet will generally ship for $125.00 depending on destination
and amount of insurance.
International buyers welcome , but inquire first. We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria,
Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia,
England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait,
Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Philippines, Poland,
Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland,
Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.
ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, money order, or personal
check in which case the item will be held until cleared. No credit cards or PayPal accepted.
2012 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved