Nation's Attic Diving Into History 2023

Unusual 1940 Morse Successors 3 Light Diving Helmet

The auction will start in __ days and __ hours

Start price: $2,200

Estimated price: $4,500 - $6,500

Buyer's premium: 20%

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

This is a very interesting helmet made during a short transitionary period of the Morse Company. During the late 1930s, the AJ Morse & Son Inc. Company was preparing to be sold. Part of the sale was a change in name to Morse Diving Equipment Co. Inc., which occurred around 1940. On occasion a Morse helmet will be discovered with the unusual wide rectangle ID plate that stays MORSE DIVING EQUIPMENT CO. Inc. SUCCESSORS. On even rarer occasions, a helmet will be found with both ID plates, like this example!

This helmet is a 3 light 12 bolt model featuring a fantastic patina and most of its factory tinning remaining! Proudly displayed on the front of the breastplate are the two company ID plates. Undoubtedly a few helmets were made during the sale of the company that had the AJ Morse & Son Inc plates already on them. The easy solution was to place the SUCCESSORS plate directly under the obsolete one.

This helmets serial number is 4014. This number is present on both neck rings and all four brails, making it a complete numbers matching example! The serial number places the helmets manufacturer at the 1939 to 1940 time period. This is also consistent with the SUCCESSORS ID plate use. We also noted an A stamped in front of the serial number on both neck rings.

This helmet started its working life as a neck feed helmet, one that received air in the back of the breastplate neck ring. The air vent was incorporated into the larger neck ring and exhaust under the divers chin. At some point in this helmets working life, the air elbow at the neck ring was capped off and moved to the back of the bonnet. Copper pipe air vents were expertly installed in the bonnet. A communications fitting is also located near the air elbow fitting on the back of the bonnet.

As the photos show, this helmet exhibits a classic appearance with a few unique aspects, making it quite special. In addition to be a full serial number matching example, the helmet also retains all its original hardware. The four brails, twelve wing nuts, glass, window guards, spring loaded safety pin, exhaust, unmarked nonreturn valve, bonnet air piping, exhaust chin button, and neck ring gasket. The bonnet has a few minor working dents, none are notable. The bonnet and breastplate thread together with ease. The faceplate also threads on and off without issue.

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. The display stand shown in the photos is not included. The option to purchase one after the auction will be provided.

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.