The Alfred Hale Rubber Company was established in 1837 and was located at 17 Covington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The company produced sportings pants, repair cloth, rubber cement and other rubber goods and got involved in producing diving apparatus at a later date.

In the 1917 catalog we read:

"This company was established in 1837 and has ever since been successfully carried on by individuals in partnership until November 1900 when it was incorporated as the Alfred Hale Rubber Co. under Massachusetts laws. This gives us a business history and experience of 80 years. It was the pioneer in the manufacture of diving outfits and for many years was the sole maker of them on this continent. It has always maintained the highest standard of excellence both in quality and workmanship. 

Never during all these years have we been called upon to replace a dress for defects either in workmanship or material. We aim to build the best articles, believing that the best is the cheapest and that when life is in danger that nothing can be too good. We use only the best materials. This company is determined to maintain the position it has so long held and it was never so well equipped to give to it's customers goods of the best class and the lowest possible prices as at the present time".


Here you see a 12 bolt helmet made around 1870, helmet number 3 (!!). This hat had a Morse nametag soldered over the Hale name, stah was stamped in the breastplate. Photo courtesy of Bob Croot.

Bob provided the following additional information:

"The Hale helmet had some minor repairs done to it, probably many years before I became it's custodian in 1983. I assume the repairs were done by Morse Diving which then soldered their name tag over the Hale name which is stamped into the breast plate. Just the "E" in Hale was showing from under the Morse tag. I unsoldered the tag, discovered what a find I had, and re-attached it under the Hale label.

This helmet had been on display in Booth Tarkington's boathouse, "The Floats" in Kennebunkport, Maine since the 1930's.

I also have the only Hale hand pump that I know of, but little information on the company history except that they were located in Boston. They made a quality helmet and may have been absorbed by Morse".

Booth Tarkington's boathouse, "The Floats" in Kennebunkport, Maine

Recently, we were contacted by Carl Zeigler. He wrote the following:

Dear Karin & Bert

Here are some pictures that my Dad had taken around 1970.

I attached a picture of "The Floats" where the diving suit was before it was auctioned, a picture of Elizabeth Trotter (me on her left) who was the owner of the house and a picture of the suit and helmet. Try to note some of the other nautical artifacts in the house. For example, the ship hanging over the table was made of sheet copper and had a light in it. When it was turned on at night, it was quite a sight.
Also, you cannot see from this picture but to the left of the door was a captains quarters built into the corner of the room which my Dad told me the other day was from the USS Constitution. I used to nap in there!

I have heard that everything in the house was auctioned after Ms. Trotter passed away. I have not been there since. My Dad tells me that the interior of the house was completely renovated with plaster walls and such. It is sad because it was such a wonderful place and a place in which my family was happiest.

Many thanks to Carl Zeigler and his Dad for contributing these fantastic pictures!

12 bolt Hale helmet with hinged front window. There is an extra air outlet on the breastplate.

Another nice Hale helmet. The bonnet is not placed totally straight forward. The front guard and one side guard are missing.



An Early Alfred Hale Helmet. Alfred Hale Helmets has stamped breastplates.
An early Alfred Hale Bonnet paired with a remade breastplate. The bonnet has 3 equal sized windows and no side grills. The rear view shows the air intake has been repaired and reinforced at some time.
The breastplate is the Pearler style with the square bottom flanges. The bonnet and corselet are robustly made and the quality of the casting very high. There are is no telephone device fitted.