What do you call this gear?

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Rich Keller

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The common term would be commercial diver though there is no official term. Hard hat diver would be another common term though that is not 100% correct as it only covers one type of equipment used but it will get your point across to most people. There are three basic types of equipment used, helmets, hats and masks. A helmet like the Mark V pictured in your first post is connected to a breast plate that rests on your shoulders. A hat like the one in your avatar is connected to you head in some way and seals around your neck. A mask seals just around your face secured by a harness around your head over a wetsuit hood that is also attached to the mask. As for this being "child's play", the Mark V weighs 198 lbs, add to that your weight, in my case another 215 lbs, then try to walk that 400+ lbs up a ladder after working a few hours in the water before you dismiss this as child's play.
 

ScubaSparky85

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I never realized that people might confuse the oldest diving gear (after breath-holding) with the most advanced and sophisticated diving.

Well damn, now don't I feel like a smacked ass?! hahahaha. Thanks for the explanation! Time to go get some popcorn (or maybe some swedish fish) and watch more diving vids :D
 
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Akimbo

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…When they came on the scene, the first SCUBA divers (Cousteau first labeled them "menfish") were called "skin divers" because they were relatively naked in comparison to hardhat divers, who were just called "divers"...

Good point. Commercial divers were listed under divers in the yellow pages in the 50s and 60s, at least in the West Coast. Scuba diving was listed under Skin Diving.

… There are three basic types of equipment used, helmets, hats and masks. A helmet like the Mark V pictured in your first post is connected to a breast plate that rests on your shoulders...

Even that is inconsistent. The Mark V Helium Hat image in the OP was operational in the 1930s. They called it the Helium Hat in the books on the Squalus disaster (SS-192), and Desco still offer them under that name. And then there is the term “Hard Hat Diver” that predates Cousteau, at least in the US.

OMG, is this conclusive proof the hyperbaric pressure creates self-identity disorders? :wink:
 
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Searcaigh

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standard diving dress.

When I first started diving this is exactly what my more experienced co-workers described it as and I assume it to be a Royal Navy description. Not that I dived with this equipment, but Kirby Morgan band masks and lightweights (which are not really that light) along with hot water suits (luxury) are what I experienced before doing scuba diving for fun.
 
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Akimbo

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When I first started diving [standard diving dress] is exactly what my more experienced co-workers described it as and I assume it to be a Royal Navy description...

I substituted the red text for clarity

I heard “standard dress” used in the North Sea by Brits I worked with in the 1970s, but can’t remember it ever coming up in conversation with the general population in Europe. Do you think the term was known to non-divers and sport divers? I never heard it used here in the US.

How about in Canada?
 

DaleC

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I think the term "standard dress" came from the USN which used the Mk5 & canvas suit as the standard working rig for it's divers. In that regimented setting, if told you were diving in standard dress you would know exactly what you would be using and how to use it.

For shallow work they would use the "Jack Browne" (DESCO still makes them) positive pressure face mask (also surface supplied). It is the mask Mike Nelson dons at the beginning of every Sea Hunt episode.

Other countries may have had other rigs at their disposal so the term may mean different things to different people.

As for Canada, I am woefully lacking in written material regarding our countries diving equipment. I don't know if we did our own thing or just piggybacked off of the Americans and British?
 

DandyDon

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Speaking of old equipment...
Yellow Pages? Sure. Many of my local businesses do not have websites, but they all have landlines.
 

dbulmer

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Just curious. What phrase do recreational Scuba divers use to describe divers like this?

View attachment 134807

I was thinking more like “Heavy Gear” or “Deep Sea” as opposed to nuts, dinosaur, or historic. :wink: For those interested, this is a US Navy Mark V Helium Hat.

Squidge hunters
 

Rich Keller

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This is from the US Navy Diving Manual.

MK V Deep-Sea Diving Dress. By 1905, the Bureau of Construction and Repair had designed the MK V Diving Helmet which seemed to address many of the problems encountered in diving. This deep-sea outfit was designed for extensive, rugged diving work and provided the diver maximum physical protection and some maneuverability.
The 1905 MK V Diving Helmet had an elbow inlet with a safety valve that allowed air to enter the helmet, but not to escape back up the umbilical if the air supply were interrupted. Air was expelled from the helmet through an exhaust valve on the right side, below the port. The exhaust valve was vented toward the rear of the helmet to prevent escaping bubbles from interfering with the diver’s field of vision.
By 1916, several improvements had been made to the helmet, including a rudi- mentary communications system via a telephone cable and a regulating valve operated by an interior push button. The regulating valve allowed some control of the atmospheric pressure. A supplementary relief valve, known as the spitcock, was added to the left side of the helmet. A safety catch was also incorporated to keep the helmet attached to the breast plate. The exhaust valve and the communi- cations system were improved by 1927, and the weight of the helmet was decreased to be more comfortable for the diver.
After 1927, the MK V changed very little. It remained basically the same helmet used in salvage operations of the USS S-51 and USS S-4 in the mid-1920s. With its associated deep-sea dress and umbilical, the MK V was used for all submarine rescue and salvage work undertaken in peacetime and practically all salvage work undertaken during World War II. The MK V Diving Helmet was the standard U.S. Navy diving equipment until succeeded by the MK 12 Surface-Supplied Diving System (SSDS) in February 1980 (see Figure 1-8). The MK 12 was replaced by the MK 21 in December 1993.
 
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