The uncharted depths of Extension Cord

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The uncharted depths of Extension Cord


The uncharted depths of Extension Cord as the last unexplored area of the earth. Attempts to plumb the depth of the ocean have led to the development of submarines, submergible robots, and helmet diving equipment. Sending inanimate objects down is simple compared to sending a human down. Many suits were created along the way, varying in effectiveness. The name for these early suits was ‘diving dresses’. Helmet diving equipment of the modern day has modest roots in England around 1837. Around 1837 in England the advent of modern diving equipment began. A metal diving helmet was developed by German inventor Augustus Siebe in 1837. Coupled with the helmet, a watertight rubber suit was included, and it contained air. The suit was connected to a tube that led to the surface, from which air was pumped into the helmet and provided the diver with oxygen.

The suit and helmet’s buoyancy was counteracted with ballasts of lead weights in the diver’s shoes. The style of this helmet diving equipment was called ‘John Brown’ hard-hat equipment, named so after the company in England that produced many of the helmets. Siebe’s helmet was built upon by countless companies, but few retained the look of the original helmet. Previously, helmets were made by constructing them out of metal, with two glass windows and sponge used as padding to retain air. Metal was the preferred material of choice for all diving helmets. The fire fighting helmet design of Charles Anthony Deane in 1820 was later tweaked to serve as an underwater respiration device.

Deane’s design improved upon the original system by adding a streamlined air delivery system, as well as a pump. Siebe later used this design in his own helmet. At the time, water leakage into the helmet via the seam in the suit was a major problem of helmet diving equipment. Siebe’s design made great leaps by sealing the helmet to the suit. No matter how the diver moved, water could not penetrate into the helmet.The weight of an old style diving helmet lent to many of its problems. Compressed air must be delivered to the helmet so the diver can breathe. A fatal squeeze can occur if there is no non-return valve included by the rear air input.

Diving helmets, despite their weight, displace more water than one would think. The buoyancy of the suit is counteracted by the helmet, which is further weighted. Other methods of counteraction include wearing weighted belts with straps that go over the helmet. With the helmet weighing over 40 pounds alone, the total weight of the suit climbs to 167 lbs.

Required to bear this extra weight comfortably, old style divers find that the extra weight becomes quite light in water. Old style helmet divers are susceptible to the same afflictions as modern divers - decompression sickness and nitrogen narcosis. Old and modern style divers are affected equally by decompression sickness and nitrogen narcosis. Helmet diving in traditional dress is reserved for collectors and hobbyists, and is often seen in nautical decor. Allowing for modern divers who prefer the old style dress to dive at greater depths and temperatures, modifications using today’s technology are vital. Many variations of the diving helmet exist, including the Carmagnolle and the three port helmet. The Navy Mark V, however, is the archetypical helmet associated with traditional diving helmets.