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

The_Evening_News_Fri__Aug_19__1921_ - Copy-x640 

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.


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


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.

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