Nation's Attic Diving Into History 2023

DESCO Free Flow Diving Helmet From Coastal Diving Academy

The auction will start in __ days and __ hours

Start price: $500

Estimated price: $1,000 - $2,500

Buyer's premium: 20%

Sales Tax: On the lot's price and buyer's premium

Starting in 1968 DESCO (Diving Equipment and Supply Company) debuted the now iconic and still in use Air Hat. These helmets are also known as Free Flow or Pot Hats. Constructed of spun copper with a large acrylic window, this model is one of the most widely used helmets in the world.

This helmet is serial #254, which dates its production to 1970 or early 1971. Of historical importance is the fact it was sold to Al Mikalow, the owner of the Coastal School of Deep Sea Diving in Oakland, California. This school taught countless men the trade of commercial diving. It is very safe to say that during the 1970s and 1980s many of those men were trained using this very DESCO Air Hat! The original manufacturer, DESCO, has confirmed this information.

This helmet was featured in their school catalog during the late 1970s. The unique red arrow painted on the copper body is its defining feature. When the school went out of business this helmet was purchased directly from Captain Mikalow. The helmet was kept in a private collection until now.

As can be seen in the photos, the helmet is in very nice original condition. A patina has formed over the copper body. This helmet has the look and feel of a helmet well taken care of, but also used on countless training dives at the school. Just imagine how many students learned their trade in this helmet! The thick painted red arrow, copper body, acrylic window, and other hardware are all in great original condition. The helmets serial number is easy to read on the back edge. Internal components are also in good original as found condition. There is no doubt this helmet and its history deserves to be preserved!

All diving helmets in this auction will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Nations Attic. The certificate will have a unique number that will match the number on a tamperproof hologram decal placed inside the helmet. This information will be kept on permanent file at Nations Attic and help ensure the provenance of the helmet and authenticity.

All items will be shipped with a signature required upon delivery and full insurance either via FedEx or the USPS Priority Mail. Worldwide shipping is available; however, no ocean freight will be offered on large items. DHL Express is an option for international shipments under 600 pounds via air. Payment via bank wire for customers outside the USA is required. A shipping quote prior to the auction can be provided by emailing your postal code.