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Nation's Attic Diving Into History 2023

AJ Morse & Son 3 Light Diving Helmet 100+ Years Old

The auction will start in __ days and __ hours

Start price: $1,500

Estimated price: $3,500 - $5,000

Buyer's premium: 20%

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

This is a classic piece of American diving history represented in this A.J. Morse & Son Inc helmet. This configuration of three ports or lights and 12 breastplate bolts was called The Most Popular Helmet In Use in the multiple A.J. Morse & Son catalogs. AJ Morse is one of the most iconic helmet manufacturers in the United States. Located in Boston, MA when this helmet was made, this company is still in business today.

This helmet has the look of one that has been on a lot of jobs over the last hundred years. The helmet was also well taken care of, as can be seen in the photos. The bonnet features serial #1536, which dates it to the 1910 time period. The breastplate neck ring has serial number 3266. The four brails on the breastplate also have the matching number, 3266. This number places the lower half of the helmets production to the mid 1920s.

The two halves of the helmet thread together without issue. The old neck ring gasket is long gone. The helmet does retain the original glass, port guards, brails, twelve wing nuts, threaded faceplate, exhaust, comms cup, air elbow, and comms fitting. The bonnet features a dumbbell safety latch. The breastplate has a BTE safety latch. The two safety latches do not match up. Also of note, the BTE latch is still firmly attached to the neck ring, but it has been torn away from it slightly. The inside of the bonnet has the original air vents and exhaust chin button intact. The top of the bonnet features numerous shallow working dents, none are severe.

Of note on the back side of the breastplate are the letters U.S.E.D. stamped into the copper. The last letter appears to be a lightly stamped D, but we could be wrong. Unfortunately, we are not sure what these letters stand for, but they are a fun mystery for the next owner to research.

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.