Diver at work using a lamp
for close illumination.
Lamps for underwater illumination were designed in the early 20 th century and were essentially of 2 types. There were the large flood lamp types and the smaller portable ones which could be carried in the divers hand. Most were powered by electricity from the surface vessel or harbour wall but some were powered by a portable source carried by the diver They differed from torches as they were all powered by an external supply. The larger flood lamps were lowered from above and suspended above the diver. The smaller lamps could be carried into wrecks or in accessible places where the overhead light could not penetrate. Lamps were developed that could be fitted to the divers helmet so leaving his hands free to work. Due to the heat given off by the bulb it was normal to turn it on in the water and turn it off before leaving the water.
The bulb type varied and different types gave off greater amounts of light .
The Tungsten lamps were capable of producing 200-3000 candle power and this could be intensified by fitting a reflector.
Mercury vapour lamp were used from around 1920. This principle was to be developed into the quartz bulb which has two electrodes between which a current is passed. The light produced can be as bright as 18000 candles per square centimetre. The lamp has the advantage of working off both AC and DC voltage between the range-260 volts.
Sodium lamps were most effective in turbid water as the suspended particles in the water can reflect the light so affecting the divers vision. The added advantage was that the distance it penetrated was five times that of the Quartz lamp. This lamp was powered by DC. By combining a series of sodium bulbs in one lamp more than one diver could work in close proximity. The depth range for sodium lamps was around 250 feet or 75 metres.
Between the different types of lamps produced most underwater environments could be catered for with a reasonable amount of success.
 


Photo courtesy of JP Paszula

Manufacture: Galeazzi - La Spezia
Country: Italy
Year: Not Known
Dimensions: 43 cms high X 25 cms diameter 18 inches X 10 inches
Method of operation: Always on
Weight in Air: 14 Kgs
One or two hand: One
Lamp Type: Tungstan type 500 Watts
Material: Brass
Inscription on lamp: body Faro Universale Medusa

 


Photo courtesy of Jean-Patrick Paszula

Manufacture: Charles Petit
Country: France
Year: Not Known
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: One
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Tungsten type
Depth rating: Approx 80 Metres
Material: Brass or gunmetal

 


photo courtesy Mikael Zingmark

Manufacture: ASEA (Allmanna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget)
Country: Sweden
Year: Not Known
Size: 44 CM including hook (17 1/2 inches)
Weight: Approx 16 lbs
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: One
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Tungsten type
Depth rating: Approx 80 Metres
Material: Gunmetal or brass

 


Photo courtesy Mikael Zingmark

Manufacture: ASEA Sweden
Country: Sweden
Year: Not knowing
Dimensions: 44 cm or 17 1/4 inches
Weight in air: 11.5 lbs
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: One
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Tungsten type
Depth rating: 60-80 metres
Material: Brass or gunmetal

 


photo courtesy Mikael Zingmark

Manufacture: Emil Carlsson & Son Company
Country: Sweden
Year: Not Known
Size: 40 CM including hook
Weight: Approx 12 lbs
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: One
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Tungsten type
Depth rating: Approx 80 Metres
Material: Gunmetal or brass

 

Manufacture: Modern Metal Manufacturing Corporation
Country: United States
Year: 1950
Dimensions: 21 inches in total length x 12inches in diameter
Weight in air: 12 lbs
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: One
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Tungsten type
Depth rating: 250 - 300 feet
Material: Chrome on brass - Handle black rubber.

Manufacture: Siebe Gorman & Co
Country: England
Year: 1900
Dimensions: 3 inches in diameter
Weight in air: 17 lbs
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: Fixed to corselet
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Tungsten 16 candle power
Depth rating: 200 feet
Material: Gunmetal
Remarks: Illustration taken from an early Siebe Gorman catalogue. The lamp could be fitted on any helmet and had a ball and swivel socket to enable the lamp to be angled in any direction.

 

Manufacture: Siebe Gorman & Co
Country: England
Year: 1950
Dimensions: 24 inches high x 10 inches diameter
Weight in air: 44 lbs
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: Tender lowers from above
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Tungsten type 1500 Watts
Depth rating: 200 feet
Material: Gunmetal
Catalogue code: Incad
Cost when new: 30.00

 

Manufacture: Siebe Gorman & CO Ltd London
Country: England
Year: 1952
Dimensions: 17 inches Diameter x 16 inches high
Weight in air: 17 lbs
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: Lowered by tender from above
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Tungsten type 200 watts
Depth rating: 200 feet
Material: Gunmetal

 

Manufacture: Possibly Draeger
Country: Germany
Year: estimate 1940-1960
Dimensions: 360 mm long 125 mm in diameter.
Weight in air: 11 kilos.
Method of operation: Always on
One or two hand: Die to weigh possibly 2 handed
Power source: Electricity
Lamp Type: Incandescent 100 Watt
Depth rating: estimate 60 metres.
Material: Gunmetal