Coloured drawing from a collection of documents dated c 1797-1847 relating to the work of Simon Goodrich, mechanist to the Navy Board. Shown here is a demonstration of the 'open diving helmet' with air pump, developed by English inventors John and Charles Deane. In 1823 the Deane brothers patented a helmet designed for use in fire-fighting, modifying this five years later into a diving helmet and suit. The helmet is held in place with weights, while air is supplied from the surface through a hose. The diver could communicate with the surface by pulling on a signal line. In 1832 the Admiralty commissioned the Deane brothers to work on the removal of the wreck of the Royal George in the Solent.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library