Credit: ┬ęThe Royal Society
    Image number: RS.16998

    Diving bell and suit

    6 April 1692
    Unknown, Artist
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    Manuscript page number
    height (page): 303mm
    width (page): 186mm
    This drawing of a diving bell appears on the back of rough minutes of a Royal Society meeting. The underwater apparatus includes a light source - a candle to burn beneath the sea. It is associated with Edmond Halley's diving bell.
    Object history
    23 September 1691: '[Mr Halley] related, that he had contrived way to goe out of the diving bell, and stay in the water as long as he pleased, and be at liberty to do what he pleased there by a Vessel, a man may carry on his head like a cap and by forcing him with bellows, or such like means the Air contained in the diving bell, whereby he might goe all round about it for a circle of 4 or 5 fathom radius' (JBO/9/56).

    1 October 1691: 'Mr Halley produced his Pipe for the Conveyance of Air out of the Diving Bell into a small vessel to be worn on the head of the Diver like a Capp. The Pipe was made with a small wire covered over with a tape sewed thereon, and then severall folds of guts drawn over it, which being dried became perfectly tight so as to contain the Air, and was withall so flexible, as to be tied into a close knott, and yet leave free passage through it' (JBO/9/57).

    1 October 1691: 'Halley proposed an Instrument for keeping fire under water by means of a crooked siphon, bringing the fresh Air under the flame of the candle, which he supposed would draw it, as it was evacuated at the top of the vessel. Of this he tried the experiment, but for want of a fit Vessell for the purpose the effect was not so convincing as was hoped, however, it was plain, that by such a siphon the flame of a wax candle under a glass-funnell immersed in water considerably was longer preserved, than without it, and by raising and sinking the said funnel in the water alternately, the Flame was maintained in it without diminution of the Air being reciprocally expelled and received again by the ascent and descent of the water in the funnel' (JBO/9/58).
    Related fellows
    Edmond Halley (1656 - 1742, British) , Astronomer
    Associated place
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