I located this helmet many years ago in Sweden (see above photographs). The strange circular box on top once held parts for an early version of a diver’s electric telephone. The side-windows are of a design which I believe were introduced around 1880 and used in the Siebe & Gorman ‘Improved Diving Helmet’. Even though helmets with thin, ‘oval’ side-windows were made at this time (or even after this new design was introduced) the concept of strong, thick side-windows of plain glass were later incorporated into the ‘oval’ side-window design.

Photographs, David L.Dekker. (Members of the Historical Diving Society USA may recognize the helmet: In volume 17, Issue 1 Number 58, Spring 2009 an article of mine was published which I dedicated to this helmet).

1870. Siebe & Gorman helmet, 12-bolt (first design with oval side windows)

The helmet shown below still has oval side windows with thin frames, and the glass used is thin and convex (lens-like)

The helmet shown above was made around the time of A.Siebe’s death in 1872. It was found several years ago in poor condition and has required substantial repairs including deep soldering around the side-windows and spit-cock (see photo details). Restoration is still progressing, hence the metal around the side-windows is still bare. Unfortunately the brailles and nuts are missing. If anybody has or knows of a set of brailles, or a complete spare breastplate available for this type of ‘Siebe & Gorman’ helmet, then please contact me. Photographs, David L.Dekker

1870. Siebe & Gorman 12-bolt ‘Improved’ helmet (with round side windows)

Martien Sperling, a member of a famous Dutch diving family, enjoys a cup of coffee between dives while still wearing his Siebe & Gorman helmet. Photograph, David L.Dekker collection

1870. Siebe & Gorman

Augustus Siebe’s son Henry and son-in-law William Gorman took over the family business in 1870 and the firm’s name was changed to ‘SIEBE & GORMAN’ Augustus Siebe died in 1872.


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