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Thread: Jacques Vert Plonger Extrodiair

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    RBW Member s. McWilliam is on a distinguished road s. McWilliam is on a distinguished road s. McWilliam's Avatar
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    Re: Jacques Vert Plonger Extrodiair

    CHAPTER X1V

    How to float on the Water - Swimming - directions for Diving with the Armor - Precautions - Who make Good Divers - The Diving bell - Blasting Rocks under Water.

    In the previous chapters of this work, I have given the reader my principal exploits in connection with submarine diving. It now remains for me to give that observation which I have learned from those practical demonstrations. The art of submarine diving, both with and without armor, and the effects of the water upon the body in its natural state, with armor, and after death, although they have been hinted at in preceding chapter, require further demonstration.
    It is a well established fact, I believe, that the specific gravity of the human body is less than that of water, so long as there remains sufficient air in the lungs to even keep them but partially filled; and this difference is sufficient to permit of the body floating with the mouth and nostrils free for respiration, provided the face be turned upward and the head thrown back, so that the greater portion may be immersed, and its weight sustained by the water. It is also a well known fact that if a person throws himself into the water, the body will rapidly rise to the surface, and assume nearly a vertical position, and that the upper part of the head, down to a little below the eyes will remain above the surface. This position is occasioned by the greater density of the legs and thighs in proportion to the head and chest, which acts as a kind of float or buoy to the body. In this situation, however, it would be impossible to breath; but, if the head be thrown back, so that the face may become the exposed part, as before mentioned, respiration may be carried on without hinderance.
    The truth of the above I have frequently demonstrated in my diving without armor. I found at each inspiration, a large portion of the face became raised above the surface, and at each expiration it sunk so that the water came nearly to the corners of the mouth, but not high enough to run into it, unless a hurried and forced breathing was resorted to. Thus a constant rising and sinking of the body takes place, and these motions are simultaneous with the inflation and contraction of the lungs. If a hand and part of the fore-arm be raised out of the water, the face becomes instantly submerged.
    From what I have said, it is evident, that if one falls into the water, and exercises but common presence of mind, he may readily float for some time, or until assistance can reach him, even although unacquainted with swimming. Unfortunately, however, persons on falling into the water, are so agitated and alarmed, and the general ignorance of the principals here related, which could be resorted to in such emergencies, make them neglect those obvious measures which are so essential to their preservation. Persons falling into the water should be as collected as possible, and avoid splashing and throwing themselves about in the water as much as possible, as this will increase the danger. They should allow the body to assume its natural vertical position, and, if they cannot swim, should remain patiently until assistance reaches them. Another point which should be remembered by every person under such circumstances, is, that there is a considerable amount of residual air in the lungs in a nearly deoxidized state; and if this be expelled by two or three forced expirations, and a deep inspiration then be taken, a large quantity of vital air will then be introduced into the lungs, and the blood will continue aerated for a proportionally longer time, and consequently a longer period will elapse before another inspiration will be required. It will be found that if, in the ordinary breathing, we suddenly hold our breath, we will only be able to do so for the space of time varying from twenty to thirty seconds; but if, on the contrary, we prepare ourselves by taking two or three forced expirations, and then taking a full inspiration, we remain from one to two and a half minutes before another respiration need be made.
    The above was the mode adopted by me when diving, and I believe it is the practice of all divers, and especially pearl fishers, and they are remarkable for remaining under water for a long time. A person in danger of being cast into the water should have recourse to this method, as it would permit the breath to be held until the body rises to the surface of the water, and would obviate the dreadful effects of attempting to breath while the mouth is submerged.
    The above direction for floating will enable one to stay upon the top of the water, but not instruct in locomotion, and the following will be found useful in learning to swim.
    There are two modes of swimming in common vogue, one which is commonly called "frog fashion," and the other, "swimming on the back." There are other modes, such as "dog fashion," and "swimming on the side," but they can hardly said to be useful.
    In swimming "frog fashion," the hands and arms should strike a half-circle on the same horizontal plane with the body in the water, the arms extended, and pushing the water with the flat hand. The hands should start in front of the face, and be brought around nearly to the sides. In returning the hands and arms to strike another blow, they should be kept as close to the body as possible, with the hands held parallel to the surface of the water, until they arrive at the point where another blow is to be commenced. The feet should be kept close together, and drawn up and pushed out at each stroke of the arms. The head should be only so much elevated as just to keep the water from entering the mouth.
    To swim on the back, the body only needs to be placed in the position for floating; the hands should be laid upon the thighs, and the feet worked as in the description in the former mode. This mode of swimming is far from being as laborious as swimming with the face down; but, on the other hand, one makes but slow progress in the water, and is only useful in resting, while swimming in what seems the more natural mode. The same may be said of the other modes which I have only mentioned.
    The best time of day to go into the water is in the morning before eating, and in fact, persons should never go into the water on a full stomach, nor soon after drinking liquor. The precautions should be attempting to, and are greatest importance to the diver - he cannot work under water if his stomach is filled with liquor. I have seen divers abandon a search, solemnly avowing that no one could reach the treasure, when the sole cause of their disagreeable feelings arose from the state of their stomachs from liquor.
    Persons who cannot swim should be very careful about adventuring in water where it is above the shoulders in depth. The better way to learn to swim is to first wade into the water as far as it is prudent, and then endeavor to swim toward the shore. In case of cramp or fright even, it will, in this situation, be an easy matter for one to save himself, while it is often impossible, when the water is so deep that the novice cannot wade.
    In case of cramp, the swimmer should exercise the greatest presence of mind. Fright should be avoided, and the person should endeavor to swim with those limbs which are unaffected, although the severe pain for the moment would seem to stifle the whole body. If it is impossible to swim, the position of floating should be assumed, and quietly retained until help is at hand. The horror with which a person is filled on being seized with cramp, is too often the cause of death.
    In diving without armor, the above precautions should always be taken, for therein lies the secret of remaining under water. When one is once submerged, he will find he can swim down almost as well as toward the surface, and remain down if desired, at almost any depth. As I have stated in a previous chapter. I have dove forty-two feet below the surface, and remained down from two to three minutes. I found the pressure of the water no more at this distance than it was five feet from the surface. In my accountancy with other divers, I knew one who had been down fifty-four feet without armor. He stated that the result on the body was the same as with myself; and I believe this is the experience of all divers without armor.
    These hints on floating and swimming, are, I believe, in accordance with scientific experiments, and can be found, in the main, in a few other publications: but we are unacquainted with that book which has given any directions for diving with armor, and the following hints cannot fail to receive notice from many.
    The diver having used due precaution in regard to eating, previous to descending, should go down quite slow, decreasing in speed as he descends until he reaches the bottom. On lowering, he will feel a pressure on his lower extremities, which will increase as he proceeds on his downward course until it reaches even the chest, and cause a rush of blood to the head which gives a sensation between the eyes as though needles were piercing there. A sharp snapping sound is also produced in the head from the same cause; singing round the head in the ears, which increase until the diver reaches the bottom, and obtains a vertical position, or an inclination of about twenty degrees forward - an angle of the body necessary to move about at any considerable depth. When in either of these positions, he is almost entirely relieved of these disagreeable sensations.
    When the diver has worked for some time, he will become dizzy, and symptoms of nausea will follow; and if these symptoms are violent, he should be drawn up at once, for these disagreeable sensations arise from foul or insufficient air.
    There is a great mistake made by some divers, who suppose that air should not be forced to them in greater quantities than they actually wish to breath. The diver should always have enough air in his armor to keep it entirely expanded, and attain that force which will expel the impure air.
    While life is sustained by retaining the oxygen of the atmosphere, it is equally important that the nitrogen should be expelled by expiration, and, when the expiated air in the helmet does not pass off as rapidly as it expiated it will cause all the symptoms here described.
    I have seen no armor, except those constructed after my improved plan, that will make the diver comfortable while submerged. I have, in a previous chapter, explained the construction of that armor, but I will here recapitulate those points so essential. The air pipe should be attached at the front, near the pit of the stomach, instead of at the top of the helmet; the escape pipe should be at the back of the head, instead of the breast, and it should extend as low as the hips behind. There should be a valve attached at the escape pipe, and also one at the entrance of the air-pipe, that, in case of accident to the air-pipe the one would prevent the air from escaping, and the other would keep the water from running into the armor while the diver was being drawn to the surface.*
    Many divers have lost their lives by not having these safety valves attached to their armors. Captain Glennie, a noted diver, in the service of the "St. John's Diving Company," while working off New Brunswick, near St. Johns, had a narrow escape of his fate in this manner. He had been underwater for two hours, looking for a mooring anchor, and had just decided to come to the surface when the air-pipe burst above the surface of the water. He was drawn up instantly, but, on opening the armor, his head was found badly swollen, the blood gushing from his nose, eyes, ears and mouth, and his whole countenance was very dark; and it was beyond the hope of any, that he recovered from this almost fatal accident. Had there been these valves attached to his armor, such an accident could not have occurred.
    When an armor is perfect, the diver can remain down from thirty minutes to nine hours, according to the depth of water; but I am inclined to the position that four or five hours is as long as it is prudent to remain under water at a time.
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    *The amount of pressure in fresh water may be estimated, at 15 feet below the surface, at 7 1/2 lbs. to the square inch; 30 feet below, 16 lbs., doubling in this ratio as you descend. There was pressure upon 2200 square inches of surface of my body. My greatest descent in fresh water was 162 feet; and in salt water 158 feet. One cubic foot of fresh water weighs 62 1/2 lbs.; one cubic foot of salt water weighs 63 1/2 to 64 lbs. varying in proportion to the amount of salt held in solution.
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    I have executed almost every kind of work which would be likely to be required below the surface, except chopping, which can not be easily done, as the water expends the force of the blow, and it is with great difficulty that the least gash can be made. Sawing, prying, moving bodies, and lifting, are easily done; and I am sure that a diver can lift more under water than he can above. I am aware that it is a general theory that it requires a far greater force to lift bodies underwater than it does out; but this only occurs where there is no water under the object to be raised, which are very seldom the case; therefore, the fabulous weight which is talked of in lifting, in order to raise wrecks is, to a great extent, overestimated.
    Another common error is, that bodies find a center of gravity in the ocean before they reach the bottom. In one hundred and fifty-two feet of water, I found that bodies apparently sink as quickly as in five feet of water, and the pressure on my hands, which were exposed, was no more than would be felt in ten feet of water. Were it actually the fact that heavy bodies did not find the bottom of the ocean, I cannot see for the life of me why the bottom of the ocean should not also rise; and if this were the case what should become of the water. Everything, so far as my experience in diving goes, shows that bodies which sink in the ocean go to the bottom of the water in which they are submerged.*
    To counterbalance my position, I have been often referred to the fact that the ocean can be sounded only to a certain extent. The reason of this fact is, that the line attached to the lead in sounding to such a great depth buoys the lead along with itself, and prevents it from sinking any further.
    Water cannot be compressed, and the pressure of liquids is the same on all sides; therefore, to whatever depth a body may sink, it never becomes lighter than the water by reason of such depth.
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    *We have often seen the experiment of sinking an empty bottle, corked, and when it was drawn up finding it filled with water. This was owing to the fact that there was a vacuum, into which the water, by pressure on every side, must rush, and the little air in the bottle escapes, unless the bottle be lowered neck downward, in which case it will not entirely fill.
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    Before I return to the subject of diving, I would ask those who entertain different views on this subject from my own, to calmly view these points before pronouncing my doctrine erroneous.
    I have universally found, that persons of dark complexion, and of bilious temperament, can stand the arduous toils of diving far better than light, nervous, or sanguine temperaments. The latter temperaments are troubled with pressure of blood to the head, to such an extent as to render it impossible for them to remain down but for a short time.
    One great requisite to success in diving is endurance, to which must be added cool judgement, perseverance, and a determination to go through thick and thin, and not sower as the "salt water divers" did at the wreck of the "Atlantic." Without the above requisites no person need think of becoming a diver; for the pain which he will have to endure in deep water will make any but a stubborn heart retreat.*
    What improvements may hereafter be made in diving I will not pretend to say; yet I am convinced that there can be much progress in the art. Still, it has already been brought to such perfection that it imparts to commerce a valuable practicle benefit; while by the aid of submarine armor, the bodies of friends and relatives may be rescued from their water graves, and deposited where their last resting places may be known.**
    We give the following description of a Diving Bell from The Penny Magazine, but the apparatus has now given way to the Submarine Armor , which is far more useful, and less hazardous
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    *There is one result from diving, which I wish to state, not as a universal fact, but as an effect on myself and one other diver, who were troubled with the unmistakable symptoms of consumption. It proved an effectual remedy. By forcing of air into the armor by means of the air pump it was supplied in such quantities that the air became condensed, and consequently entered and expanded the lungs. To this fact I attribute the cure.

    **I have found and recovered bodies under water in every state of decomposition; often so decayed as to drop to pieces when I picked them up, nothing remained of others but the bones; while others in a less decomposed state, were covered with shrimps, and partially devoured by fish - a sight which makes the heart sick.
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    to the diver. All of the merits stated in the article apply, in ten-fold force, to the submarine armor.
    The Diving-bell is an apparatus extensively employed by the engineering man, difficult operations connected with his arduous pursuits. Not only are rocks blasted by the force of gunpowder above the water, but below; and the spirit level of the plumb-line, and the nicely fitted joints of the stone mason are quite as much attended to at any reasonable depth below the surface of the sea as in the mightiest works on the land. Low water-mark is no longer a limit to the operations of the engineer; and he now lays his foundation on the edge of a submarine precipice, with the same security and precision as characterized his noblest operations on the ground.
    The diving-bell commonly in use resembles nearly a large box deprived of its bottom. Its ordinary length is about six feet, its breath five and a half, and its height four feet and a half. To avoid the necessity of fastening weights to make it descend, it is formed of cast-iron; and being made in one piece, and very thick, there is no danger of the water forcing itself through the sides or top. It is also airtight. The thickness of the sides of the bell prevents also its being fractured, should it by accident receive a heavy blow.
    In the top of the diving-bell is a round aperture, communicating by a number of small circular holes with the interior, where the holes are covered and closed by a piece of thick leather, which acts as a valve and admits air. A strong leather hose is screwed on to the external aperture and from two holes near its sides rise two strong chains, uniting in a ring, by which the whole machine is to be suspended. In the top also are cemented twelve very thick lenses, for the purpose of admitting light. At the ends of the bell are two seats at such a height, that the top of the head is but a few inches below the upper part of the bell; and in the middle, about six inches above the lower edge, is placed a narrow board, on which the feet of the diver rest. On one side, nearly on a level with the shoulders, is a small shelf, with a ledge, to contain a few tools, chalk for writing messages and a ring, to which a small rope is tied. A board is connected with this rope; and after writing any orders on the board with a piece of chalk, on giving it a pull, the superintendent above, round whose arm the other end is fastened, will draw it up to the surface, and if necessary, return an answer by the same conveyance. "Our compliments to our friends above water;" was the little memorandum written by the author of this brief note when he formed one of a happy party at the bottom of the sea. "Health and prosperity to the ladies and gentlemen inhabiting the region of the fishes," was the answer which was received to it in less than three minutes.
    On the top of the bell, on the inner side, it is usual to have some contrivance, by which stone or other bodies may if necessary, be suspended from the bell. The weight of the whole apparatus is about four tons. The leather hose is connected with a double condensing pump, usually worked by four men. In order to give motion to the bell, it is suspended by a windless purchase-tackle, which is fixed on a moveable platform, having four wheels; these move along in an iron railway, which is itself fixed on another platform, having by the same means a motion in a direction transverse to the former, at each other. Thus by two iron railways, established on a beam and supported by piles, the lower being fixed in the direction of the length of the wall, and the upper being on the lower moveable plane, it is possible to give the bell any position that may be required.
    There are many prejudices against diving-bells, just as there were once against stage-coaches, steam-boats, and travelling by the power of vapor on rail-roads. Some of our readers, who have possible misgivings respecting the safety of a descent in a diving-bell may be induced to enter one, after they have read the following account by Mr. Babbage of his descent with Mr. Harvey in a diving-bell at Plymouth: -"To enter the bell, it is raised about three or four feet above the surface of the water; and the boat, in which the persons who propose descending are seated, is brought immediately under it. The bell is then lowered, so as to enable them to step upon the footboard within it; and having their seats, the boat is removed, and the bell gradually descends to the water.
    On touching the surface, and thus cutting off the communications with the external air, a peculiar sensation is precieved in the ears; it is not, however, painful. The attention is soon directed to another object. The air rushing in through the valves at the top of the bell overflows, and escapes with considerable bubbling noise, under the sides. The motion of the bell proceeds slowly, and almost imperceptibly: and on looking at the glass lenses close to the head, when the top of the machine just reaches the surface of the water, it may be perceived, by means of the little impurities which float about in it, flowing into the recesses containing the glasses. A pain now begins to be felt in the ears, arising from the increased external pressure; this may sometimes be removed by the act of yawning, or by closing the nostrils and mouth, and attempting to force air through the ears. As soon as the equilibrium is established the pain ceases, but recommences almost immediately by the continuance of the descent. On returning, the same sensation of pain is felt in the ears; but it now arises from the dense air which had filled them endeavoring, as the pressure is removed, to force its way out.
    If the water is clear, and not much disturbed, the light in the bell is very considerable; and even at the depth of twenty feet, was more than is usual in many sitting rooms. Within the distance of eight or ten feet, the stones at the bottom began to be visible. The pain in the ears still continued at intervals, until the descent of the bell terminated by its resting on the ground.
    Signals are communicated by the workmen in the bell to those above, by striking against the side of the bell with a hammer. Those most frequently wanted are indicated by the fewest number of blows; thus a single stroke is to require more air. The sound is heard very distinctly by those above.
    Considering the extensive employment of the diving-bell, few serious accidents have occurred. Some years since, the bell at Sheerness rested on top of an old pile. The men within repeatedly gave the signal to lower instead of to raise the bell. This being obeyed, it fell over, and two out of three who were in it, were drowned; the third came to the surface, and was saved. On another occasion at Blackwall, a bell, of which trial was being made on ship-board was mismanaged. There were three persons below when the water began to fill it. One of them, with great presence of mind, dived underneath the edge, came to the surface, gave the alarm, and saved his companions.
    Rocks at the bottom of straits and rivers, which impeded navigation, have been blasted away by this use of the submarine armor. The rocky channel of "Hurl-Gate," long a terror to the navigator, in passing its rough and dangerous channel to our commercial metropolis, has been almost entirely cleared of its jagged rocks by the submarine diver, and he refers to it with pride as an illustration of what his art can do. It is no less useful in constructing walls beneath the surface of the water, and, I might say, that almost every labor which requires to be executed below the surface of the water, is now done by the marine diver.
    The process of blasting beneath the water is as follows: A canister is prepared containing powder in proportion to the size of the rock to be blasted. (If the rock is a very large one, three hundred pounds is often used.) In the side of the canister are inserted two wires, enclosed in gutta-percha. The ends of the wires enter the can, and are united with a small platina wire, and the finest powder is used about this wire as priming. The diver descends, and places the can on the upper surface of the rock. The other ends of the wire are attached to a boat lying at a safe distance from the spot where the explosion is to take place. By working a battery, the powder is ignited, and instantly is seen, over the rock, or place of the powder, a semi-globular volume of fire, some twenty feet in diameter, and ten feet high. This subsequently forms a vacuum of about the same dimensions; and it is a common belief, that, as the water pressure from all sides rushes in on its center, to fill the vacuum, it breaks the rock into pieces. Some, however, are inclined to think it is the shock of powder acting on the rock at the same time it acts on the water. There is an immense body of water moved, why not allow the powder to remove a little rock as well as so much water? The effect is so tremendous on the water, that it often throws it into the air two or three hundred feet, and kills fish five hundred feet from the place of blasting.

  2. #22
    RBW Member s. McWilliam is on a distinguished road s. McWilliam is on a distinguished road s. McWilliam's Avatar
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    Re: Jacques Vert Plonger Extrodiair

    CHAPTER XV
    Different Kinds of Apparatus for Diving - Diving with Armor not understood by Writers on the Subject - Who first made the Armor serviceable for Diving in Deep Water - Harrinton at the "Atlantic" - Conclusion.
    The different kinds of apparatus which have been constructed for diving are classed under three heads. The armor, which we have heretofore described; water tight vessels, of such capacity that they will contain air enough for the diver to breath while down from ten minutes to one hour, without becoming too much impure; and the diving-bell, which an article from the "Penny Magazine," in another part of this pamphlet fully explains.
    According to history, armor is the most ancient of the three. A Frenchman, by the name of M. Klingret, as early as the year 1798, constructed an armor of pieces of tin, riveted together in such a way as to make a water-proof encasement for the body. There were two flexible pipes attached to this armor; one which was attached to the head, and terminated in a mouth-piece inside the armor, and extended to above the surface of the water. When the diver wished to draw a fresh breath, he placed his mouth to the pipe, and took an inspiration. The other pipe was also attached to the head of the armor, extending to the surface, and through it passed off the expiated air, and thus kept up an equilibrium within the armor. With this apparatus, it will be at once apparent to the reader of the preceding pages that it would be impossible to remain under water for any length of time, and especially not at any considerable depth, as there is nothing but the armor to counteract the pressure of the water. Not knowing that such an armor had been constructed, I myself had one made of plate, and, on trying it, I found that the pressure of the water on the armor was so great that I could not move a single joint in it, although I had, while making the experiment, constantly forced into it condensed air. It was entirely useless.
    Water-tight vessels were never brought to such perfection that they rendered any great utility to the diver. They were generally constructed so as to open for the convenience of being put on, taken off, and to leave the arms and legs free. Others were constructed so as merely to cover the head, and yet large enough to contain a quantity of air which sufficed the diver for the limited time he was submerged. There has also been at various times different kinds of apparatus from any described here experimented upon for the diver; but I do not consider their descriptions of any use to the reader, and must therefore pass them by.
    The "Encyclopedia Britannica," states there is no armor or apparatus yet constructed which is of much value for diving, except the diving bell; that with the armor it is only possible to descend ten or fifteen feet, that it is necessary to have the armor made of the greatest thickness, to prevent the water from pressing the body, and that, should the least water get into the armor, it must, cause instant death.
    It is very evident from these remarks, that the writer of the article referred to knows nothing of the construction or working of my new armor. It is not even intimated in the lengthy article on the subject of diving, that it is necessary to have air pumped into the armor, to counterbalance the pressure of the water; nor is it anywhere expressed that the body, when unprotected from the water by water-tight garments or cases, does not feel the weight of the water sufficiently to produce any bad results; but, on the contrary, the opposite is intimated. Should my armor break, so to admit the water, there could result no great harm therefrom before the diver could be drawn up, and I am quite positive it would be the same with the one described in that work.
    The whole of the article referred to represents the armor as a worthless apparatus, that cannot be used in deep water, and of little value in any work. But I would like to have any referred to me which gives an account where work like the raising of the "Erie" has been prosecuted with the diving-bell, let alone my adventures at the wreck of the "Atlantic," or even operations at the Silver wreck, even into state rooms and into the hold of the ship; he can remain down hours, and prosecute work which it would be impossible to do with the diving bell. And it appears not a little strange to me, that there should be so little knowledge displayed on a subject so important, in a work of the general accuracy of the "Encyclopedia Britannica." I should judge from these errors that my armor had not yet reached the other side of the Atlantic, did not the "New America Cyclopedia," which is not even as far advanced as the great British work, fall into almost the same error, dwelling lengthily on the diving bell while there is but little explaining the armor, although it relates the circumstances of Mr. Harrington's procuring the safe, which I had almost, as it were, placed in his hands. We must correct the last mentioned work, where it states that Mr. Harrington used simply an India rubber armor. He operated with one made very nearly after my improved armor. That he did not find the safe in a state room, but on the outside of one, next to the railing of the steamer, where I left it on my ascent previous to my first stroke of paralysis. The dates also are wrong, but that is of small consequence.
    That it was total darkness sixty feet below the surface I doubt. In diving the wreck of the "Erie," it was quite light at seventy feet and each time when I was at the same wreck I could see, one hundred feet below the surface of the water. Could he not have seen he had a line to direct him with unerring step to the prize - a line which cost me hundreds of dollars; and my health, to place there. If it was actually the fact that he could not see in the least, it must have been from the peculiar state of the water at the time. Yet in all my experience in Lake Erie, I have never found the water as far from the shore, and deep, as in the place of the "Atlantic," muddy enough to make it total darkness at the distance of sixty feet below the surface. In the last work referred to, it contains the idea in speaking of Mr. Harrington's exploit that one cannot see over sixty feet below the surface of the water, hence the remark on this point.
    There is one question in connection with this statement of Mr. Harrington which I wish to ask; will the gentleman tell the public how it happened that he saw persons in the cabin, referred to in a previous chapter, if it was total darkness? This is equaling Falstaff, when he said: "There misbegotten knaves in Kindall green, came at my back, and let drive at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou could'st not see thy hand."
    Far be it from me to wish to take from Mr. Harrington what rightfully belongs to him, or rob him of the honor which he has gained in the perils of diving. I have only stated facts in the course of my experience, and should they differ from the narratives of other divers, all I request, is a careful comparison of the circumstances connected with the operation of each.
    My operations as stated in this little work are well known to every man who was engaged or had business on Lake Erie at the periods mentioned, and I think, accounts of the same will be found in the columns of most papers published in several large cities bordering the lakes, where my operations were made. That part of my accounts which were above water has its living witnesses - that part which was below, only remains "a tale," but the amount of money which it is known I expended would indicate that I was very hopeful.
    At the time I first became acquainted with the submarine armor, for a diver to remain down thirty minutes even in twelve to fifteen feet of water was a great adventure. This was the depth in which the operators were at work at the wreck of the "Griffith," and the short history explanation of the art in both the new publications the "Encyclopedia Britannica," and "New American Cyclopedia," shows that it is not at the present date generally understood to the contrary. At the time I remained down at the "Griffith," about six hours, it was the longest time on record, that a diver had remained under water, and when I went down to the wreck of the "Erie," it was the greatest distance. These circumstances convince me, that I was the first person who tested the experiment of having all the air that could be constantly forced into the armor, and that consequently, it would be safe for a diver to go down to any depth as long as the air kept the armor inflated. The imperfections which I found to exist in the construction of the old armor were not so serious but that the diver could descend as I did, even to the depth of the "Atlantic," but with the greatest difficulty. The advantages of my new armor overcame much of that inconvenience, and made diving in deep water no more hazardous than that before practiced in from ten to fifteen feet in depth, with the old armor.
    Perhaps the reader will be inclined to judge that I am saying too much in self-favor in regard to what I have done in improving diving apparatus; to this judgement I must reply, - look at what the art was when I first made it my profession, and that it has done since - what it was then, and what it is now! There is no diver which understands his business at the present time, but follows the principals laid down in this book; and I challenge any person to show those principals described in any publication previous to my diving the "Atlantic," and I am quite positive they cannot be found in any other, even the present time, and in this I have endeavored to give the true principles of diving with submarine armor, together with a description of the construction of that apparatus, and, also, narrated the most useful facts, connected with my extensive experience in submarine diving. I have given fully, that portion which I deem most useful in illustrating my profession in the course of the proceeding pages; I will draw my condensed labor to a close. I hope I have been able to so relate my experience, as to make it perfectly intelligible to the reader; for I have told "an unvarnished tale," nothing trusting to my powers as a writer; but only, to the facts which these pages contain for the amount of my literary understanding; and I can but hope that I shall not be disappointed by the reception it will receive from a generous public.

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