Original British 1880 Siebe Gorman & Co Bellow Air Pump Diving Firefighting Bellows Siren and Alarm
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very rare Genuine Antique Victorian SIEBE GORMAN & Co Ltd of London, Manual Bellow Air Pump System, circa 1880. This is a foot operated air supply pump for either a Deep Sea Diving Helmet or Firefighters Smoke Helmet. This is an original air pump used to pump fresh air into the safety helmet using the double bellow system operation.
To operate the bellows, the large aluminum foot pedal was pressed down and using the tension of the large spring, air can be sent to the helmet. On the top is an early plastic label panel that explains how by using a system of pulls the wearer and attendant could communicate.
FROM WEARER TO ATTENDANT
1 Pull. MORE AIR
2 Pulls. SLACK OFF LIFELINE
3 Pulls. HELP ME OUT IMMEDIATELY
FROM ATTENDANT TO WEARER
3 Pulls. COME OUT IMMEDIATELY
Into the 1900's more advanced and efficient methods, which included oxygen tanks etc., forced such antiquated machines out of the market. With this, it is important to note that the Siebel Gorman Company added the large brass horn to the bellow pump and sold it as a Fire Siren or FOG HORN for maritime sailors and fishermen to sound out to approaching ships, or to alert sailors of on board dangers. This early exceptional example includes the brass horn modification and is fully functional, and wow is it loud!
History relating to Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd.
Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd was a British company which developed diving equipment and breathing equipment and worked on commercial diving and marine salvage projects. The company advertised itself as Submarine Engineers’. It was founded by Augustus Siebe and his son-in-law, Gorman. Siebe Gorman & Co was notable for developing the closed diving helmet of the standard diving dress and associated equipment.
As the helmet was sealed to the diving suit, it was watertight, unlike the previous open helmet systems. The new equipment was safer and more efficient and revolutionized underwater work from the 1830s.
To the millions of diving enthusiasts, Augustus Siebe is known as the Godfather of Diving. Siebe managed his business together with son in law Gorman - Which is one of the reasons for the Company to be called as Siebe Gorman & Co. The company is no longer in business as a devastating fire sadly destroyed it.
The bellows are made of solid oak, leather, steel brass and aluminum. The bellows section is made from thick leather and still works perfectly and pushes out a lot of air! The oak wood has a great age patina. The leather is in great condition for its age and is still pliable.
It measures approximately 21" (53.5cm) long, 10.5" (26.6cm) wide and 24" (33cm) high.
A fantastic rare Antique find for a Firefighting or Diver / Maritime collector.
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