1921-5 – Diving Armour – Joseph Salim Peress (Persian / British)

Peress dive suit 1925 x640 1921 5   Diving Armour   Joseph Salim Peress (Persian / British)

1921-5 – Diving Armor by Joseph Salim Peress.

The Warren Tribune Mon  Dec 14  1925  Copy x640 1921 5   Diving Armour   Joseph Salim Peress (Persian / British)

3171782 november 1925 mr peress explaining the gettyim 002 x640 1921 5   Diving Armour   Joseph Salim Peress (Persian / British)

Peress explaining his new armored diving suit at the Shipping Exhibition, at Olympia, London, England. It was manufactured in stainless steel by Staybrite Silver in England. Source: Getty Images

57173301 30th november 1925 inventor joseph salim gettyi 002 x640 1921 5   Diving Armour   Joseph Salim Peress (Persian / British)

Joseph Salim Peress with his new armoured diving suit.  Source: Getty Images

Peress 1925 suit x640 1921 5   Diving Armour   Joseph Salim Peress (Persian / British)

In 1921, Joseph Salim Peress filed for patent the first spherical type joint, which used a fluid to transfer the pressure. He built his first diving armour suit in 1925, which unfortunately did not work.

peress Springfield Missouri Republican Dec 18 1925 x640 1921 5   Diving Armour   Joseph Salim Peress (Persian / British)

Source: Springfield Missouri Republican, Dec 18, 1925.

Steel Diving Suit Invented By Briton – By International News Service
London – A new diving-suit which, it is claimed, will be vastly superior to the now famous German suit [Neufeldt and Kuhnke] which was used in connection with the locating of the lost British submarine M. 1, has been invented by J. S. Peress, a young English engineer.
The new suit, which is made of rustless steel and is similar in appearance to the grotesque German suit, is composed of fifty pieces, and weighs 550 pounds. It is claimed that the suit has been tested with safety to work at the great depth of 650 feet, which is approximately 300 feet deeper than the present world's diving record.
The secret of Peress' suit is said to lie in the superiority of its joints. The joints of other diving suits are made unworkable at great depths by the pressure of the sea, but the joints of the Peress suit are made of frictionless metal, and are constructed on a patent floating joint principle, which renders them practically unaffected by pressure.
Unlike the German model, Peress' invention is not fitted with oxygen cylinders, although these can be fitted if necessary. The air is pumped down in the ordinary way through an armored pipe, which also carried electric and telephone wires.
The suit is fitted with delicately constructed mechanical hands, which can be changed for powerful tools should the diver be dealing with a wreck. Peress' invention is the culmination of five years research work.


peress pat us1402645 1 x640 1921 5   Diving Armour   Joseph Salim Peress (Persian / British)

Flexible joint for diving dresses

Publication number    US1402645 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Jan 3, 1922
Filing date    Apr 30, 1921
Priority date    Apr 30, 1921
Inventors   Joseph Salim Peress
Original Assignee    Joseph Salim Peress


See Peress' "Tritonia" suit here (not yet published).

See other early Underwater Robots here.


1918 – Diving Armor – Rudi De Graff (Russian / American)

degraff diving suit 1918 pat x640 1918   Diving Armor   Rudi De Graff (Russian / American)

1918 – Diving Armor by Rudi De Graff.

degraff pat 1918 russian x640 1918   Diving Armor   Rudi De Graff (Russian / American)

Publication number    US1368786 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Feb 15, 1921
Filing date    Jan 12, 1918
Priority date    Jan 12, 1918
Inventors    Rudi De Graff

The invention relates to diving suits designed for service at great depths, one hundred feet or more, and the object of the invention is to provide a metallic suit or armor capable of withstanding successfully the great pressure due to deep submersion, and also permit free movements of the body and limbs of the diver.

Another object is to provide means for supplying air at atmospheric pressure to the interior of the suit, and for removing the vitiated air therefrom through non-collapsible separate conduits.

Another important object is to provide means for insuring the flexible joints of the suit independently against the entrance of water while permitting such joints to move freely.

A further object is to provide a form of universal joint for certain articulations of the suit, to permit movement in all directions while held water-tight by the pressure of the water.

A further object is to provide a form of joint having folding leaves for certain other articulations, constructed to allow free movements of the limbs without cramping.


See other early Underwater Robots here.


1917 – Diving Armor – James F. Long (American)

long armor 1917 pat x640 1917   Diving Armor   James F. Long (American)

1917 – Diving Armor by James F. Long.

long armor 1917 pat 2 x640 1917   Diving Armor   James F. Long (American)

Diving Armor

Publication number    US1305656 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Jun 3, 1919
Filing date    Jan 12, 1917
Inventors    James F. Long

This invention relates to diving armor, and has for one of its objects to provide a device of this character especially adapted to protect the occupant from abnormal pressure when submerged in deep water, and to enable submarine operations and observations to be conducted at unusual depths.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device of this character having appliances whereby the operator may move about, and with shields or guards for the arms and hands to enable the latter to be moved so that the operator can perform tasks of various kinds while submerged.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device of this character wherein air supplied to the occupant of the device from the outside, or under ordinary atmospheric pressure.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device of this character having a tank for oxygen or the like under pressure and with means whereby the occupant of the device can release a sufficient quantity of the oxygen in event of the cutting off of the supply of air from above.


See other early Underwater Robots here.


1880 – Armored Diving Suit – Stephen P. M. Tasker (American)

tasker suit pat 1 1880   Armored Diving Suit   Stephen P. M. Tasker (American)

1880 – Armored Diving Suit by Stephen P. M. Tasker. An interesting pose for a patent drawing. Anyone wanting a Mechanical Man costume would be inspired by this.

tasker suit pat 2 1880   Armored Diving Suit   Stephen P. M. Tasker (American)

Diving Apparatus

Publication number    US236858 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Jan 18, 1881
Filing date    Jun 21, 1880
Inventors    Stephen P. M. Tasker

Heretofore in diving apparatus shaped to the human body it has been difficult to combine with the requisite flexibility of material a rigidity or stiffness sufficient to resist at every portion of the armor the external pressure of the water without re-enforcing or aiding the material of which the apparatus is composed by pumping within it a supply of atmospheric air not only sufficient to ensure life to the diver, but also sufficient to counteract, balance, and resist the external pressure of the water.

The object of my invention is the construction of such an armor, suit, or apparatus as shall overcome this difficulty, and be of itself of sufficient strength to resist at its every portion the external pressures without re-enforcement by an over-supply of internal air, and shall at the same time be of sufficient flexibility to permit the requisite movements of the diver.

It further has for its object a better construction of the armor-lifting devices, whereby the strains in lowering and lifting the apparatus out of the water are not, as heretofore, confined to one portion of the armor, but are distributed more equally over it, so as to act not only upon the head and trunk portions, but also upon the legs, and thereby take from off the joints the strains heretofore imposed upon them in the elevation and lowering of the apparatus.

It further has for its object such an arrangement of the air inlet and exhaust tubes as concentrates them into one and prevents the complexity and entanglement incident to the old arrangements and, further, such a construction of the suit as enables it to be easily put on and taken off; and, finally, such an arrangement of the air-tubes that by the application of suitable floats they are kept continuously elevated and out of the way of the diver.

Tasker soon followed up with another patent, essentially the same but without the metal sections.

Publication number    US237141 A
Publication type    Grant
Publication date    Feb 1, 1881
Filing date    Nov 13, 1880
Inventors    Stephen P. M. Tasker

My invention relates to that class of submarine diving suits or armors which are conformed to the shape of the human body and composed of unjointed sections connected together by flexible joints corresponding to the joints of the body, the unjointed sections being rigid and the joints composed of flat rings covered by flexible material, arranged in bellows structure and united to the contiguous rigid sections.

A diving-armor of the character above referred to was first invented by me, and forms the subject-matter of an application for patent which was executed by me on the 15th day of June, 1880, and filed in the United States Patent Office on the 21st day of June, 1880.

In my former invention the flexible material which formed the bellows portions of the armor extended over the unjointed metallic sections, so as to be practically continuous over the entire suit.

My present invention accords in structure and arrangement of joints with my former invention and it consists in a diving suit or armor conformed to the shape of the human body and composed of unjointed sections of hardened rubber or kindred material and of connecting bellows-joints of pliable rubber or kindred material, the metal sections of my former invention being dispensed with.


See other early Underwater Robots here.


1916 – Submarine Armor Suit – Frank W. Walters (New Zealander)

The Evening News Fri  Aug 19  1921  Copy x640 1916   Submarine Armor Suit   Frank W. Walters (New Zealander) 

Caption: Walters suspended from ship's derrick and about to be lowered into the deep with the aid of a helper.

"Marine Scarecrow" Wins Fortune From Sea Floor
VANCOUVER, B. C., Aug. 18.-Frank Walters, "Marine Scarecrow," makes his living on the bottom of the sea. And it's a good living, too, because Walters, a professional diver, salvages the valuables from wrecked ships. Brazen mermaids couldn't make Walters lose his cool head if they wanted to, because it's encased in part of the heavy aluminum armor he wears, and which is his own invention. Under fathoms of water, in the eternal marine twilight, the prowling "scarecrow" exhumes his treasures from the graveyards of North Pacific ships with only the curious fish for companions. Sunken vessels he has recently searched are the "Princess Sophia," the "State of California," the "Islander," with a quarter million gold in her gaping hold, the "Mariposa," "Zilla May," "Dora' and other mercantile marine corpses that clutch treasures in bullion. Walters has made a fortune in gleaning the sea floor.

Source: Logansport Pharos-Tribune, August 18, 1921.


Frank Walters was constructing his aluminium diving suit from 1916. Source: New Zealand Herald, Volume LIII, Issue 16375, 1 November 1916, Page 9

A professional diver from New Zealand, he also invented and improved diving dress as well. See Canadian patent 192,333.


walters sub armor pat 1 x640 1916   Submarine Armor Suit   Frank W. Walters (New Zealander)

Submarine Armor Suit

Publication number US1359132 A
Publication type Grant
Publication date Nov 16, 1920
Filing date May 21, 1919
Priority date May 21, 1919
Inventors Walters Frank W
Original Assignee Walters Frank W


Brownwood Bulletin Texas March 26 1921 frank walters 1 x640 1916   Submarine Armor Suit   Frank W. Walters (New Zealander)

Earlier in 1921, Walters had set a new deep-sea diving record of 396 feet. Source: Brownwood Bulletin Texas, March 26, 1921.


See other early Underwater Robots here.