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Diving Equipment find

Article about: I picked up a box of WWII diving equipment yesterday and am coming up pretty short on info. Its called a Shallow Water diving kit, made by Thompson Engineering Company (TECO) from Grand Rapi

  1. #1

    Default Diving Equipment find

    I picked up a box of WWII diving equipment yesterday and am coming up pretty short on info. Its called a Shallow Water diving kit, made by Thompson Engineering Company (TECO) from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The rubber mask is a designed from modifying a gas mask. There is a lead weight belt and the breathing appartatus. The original instruction manual is still with it, as well as all the fittings. The only thing missing appears to be some "brass slippers". and possibly a small tank. All is in very good shape and very cool. The vets obituary states he was a Machinist Mate 3rd Class in the US Navy. I picked up several of his uniforms and some of his equipment also. I didnt pay too much for it, but i guess it wasnt cheap either! Any info would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    Here's a bit of info that is partially relevant. A decent picture of the mask in question would help immeasurably though!

    The Navy issued guidance for converting Gas Masks into Shallow Water Diving Masks. The following guidance was provided:
    “Shallow-Water Diving Mask-Use of Gas Masks,” 24 August 1943.

    1. In order to provide a shallow-water diving outfit that would overcome the limitations of the helmet outfit, a face mask was adopted for shallow-water diving. With the new mask, a diver is able to assume any position and accomplish work that could not be done with the helmet.

    2. Due to the delay caused by changing to a new outfit, it was impossible to furnish the new shallow-water outfits to a great number of activities requiring them. Therefore, various activities improvised diving outfits from service gas masks.

    3. The Bureau does not recommend the use of the shallow-water diving mask below 36 feet, except in special cases, and then only by trained Divers. Ascent from depths of 36 feet or less may be made up the ascending line at a rate not greater than 50 feet per minute. Divers are cautioned against throwing off the mask and swimming to the surface.

    4. In addition to diving on air, pure oxygen may be used as a breathing medium up to 40 feet.
    However, pure oxygen should not be used to greater depths, due to the toxic effect of oxygen.
    Individual tolerances vary greatly, and individual susceptibility should be determined.

    5. Shallow-water outfits are furnished to activities that do not have specific diving duties assigned, but have small and necessary jobs to accomplish at infrequent intervals, such as
    clearing a hawser from a ship’s screw, cleaning strainers and scuppers, cleaning the
    ship’s bottom, searching for objects lost in comparatively shallow and warm water.
    However, during extensive operations, such as battle-damage repair, salvage, or any work that necessitates the Diver working inside the ship a deep-sea diving outfit should be used. When diving in areas where there is extensive damage, or where wreckage exists, the Diver wearing a ‘shallow-water’ mask is very likely to sustain serious physical injuries, particularly about the head. ‘MDV Gaillard must always wear Deep Sea gear!’

    6. All masks should be equipped with the non-return or check valve on the supply line at the same or lower level than the mask, since squeeze resulting in rupture of the blood vessels of eyes, nose and lungs, etc., can occur at any time the pressure in the mask falls below the surrounding water pressure.

    7. When diving in cold water the objective is to reduce the circulation of water around the skin. This can be accomplished bywearing heavy underwear or by using a coating of heavy grease.

    8. While very satisfactory results have been obtained with the gas mask, it should be remembered that the gas mask diving outfit is an improvisation, and the mask has been furnished for a definite purpose other than diving. However, the Bureau does consider the gas mask to be a very satisfactory substitute for the standard mask. — BuShips. P.W. Hains.”

    Shallow-Water Diving Mask: Use of Gas Mask. Navy Department Bulletin. (Cumulative edition, 1943): 1118-1121 Department of the Navy — Department of the Navy Historical Center, 805 Kidder Breese SE, Washington Naval

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    Thanks for the info Big Ned, thats why i new collector keeps coming back to this site.

    Here are a couple more pics

  4. #4

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    You bloody lucky so and so I've read about this particular set up when I was researching a gas mask I used to own that was modified for diving purposes (the type mentioned in Neds post) The type you have didnt actually start off its life as a gas mask, however it is based on the USN masks of that era with the hoses attached beneath each eyepiece to aid de-fogging them. Extremely rare item and the first that I have seen

    Thanks very much for sharing it

    Danny

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    Very cool indeed
    This is the first set i have seen.
    Fantastic.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers.
    Nuno

  6. #6

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    Theres 2 photographs on this page of the gas mask version in use, its not a genuine WW2 modification on these ones though however it gives you the right idea

    http://www.reocities.com/uhexso/band.html

    Thanks

    Danny

  7. #7

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    Thanks everyone for the research. Does anyone know what the value of something like this is? I do not intend on selling it, as my intention is to keep it with the other things from the Vets estate, and among my collection. Just curious.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    Quote by Jaybone View Post
    Thanks everyone for the research. Does anyone know what the value of something like this is? I do not intend on selling it, as my intention is to keep it with the other things from the Vets estate, and among my collection. Just curious.
    I had one of the USN gas masks that the mask in the picture was based on and that was valued at £75 a good few years back so this kit will obviously be worth a decent sum and maybe as much as £200-£300 one never knows. Id ask around a few of the experts on these things and see what they say. Either way its a cracking good piece of kit and very scarce. Regards, Tim.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    The other examples of the mask in the thread bellow I have seen have sold for about £200, your diving mask which is rarer could easily be worth double that I would think

    http://warrelics.eu/forum/restoratio...se-mask-52906/

    Thanks

    Danny

  10. #10

    Default Re: Diving Equipment find

    Hi Jay,

    Glad to help mate! Good 'gen too Danny, it's good to see how it was used.

    Here's a bit more on the mask you have, the new pictures really helped!

    Very Vintage and a Question!

    I can't find the linky thing that I saw the other day when researching this, but it was an identical mask and box but with a small O2 cylinder and what appeared to be a small manual 'Donkey' type pump. Asking price was $2000!!!

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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