Antique A. J. Morse Nautical Dive Helmet American Folk Art


Presented is an early 3 light, 12 bolt helmet with an Alfred Hale tag in lieu of a Morse tag on the breast plate. There is no record of how this tag got there. The Serial Number 1179 matches on the neck rings and all four brailes. The patina on this helmet is an unusual, even reddish brown color on both the bonnet and breast plate suggesting it was refurbished at some time in the past.

Alfred Hale was established in Boston in 1837 which is the same year as A.J. Morse started business. Morse became a supplier to Alfred Hale Rubber Co. after they entered into the commercial diving business. The Hale tag may have been added by them to the finished piece rather than being stamped on the breast plate. These customarily had the Hale company name stamped in the same position as seen in their catalog sheet.

PROVENANCE: Purchased approximately 40 years ago by a then airline pilot, now retired, from property owned by the Natoma Company. The Natoma Water and Gold Excavating Company was founded in 1851 to provide water to mines in the area and was one of the largest owners of water rights in Sacramento County, California. They completed building the Folsom Dam in 1893, and during the process went through a reorganization in which their various subsidiaries were consolidated into the Natomas Consolidated of California in 1912, which in turn, became the Natoma Company. In 1953, much of the South Fork holdings were sold to the U.S. government for the Folsom Reservoir project, and certain of their assets were put in storage.

Like all used diving gear, this is being sold for DISPLAY ONLY. It should not be dived without having PASSED INSPECTION by a certified dive shop.