A young mechanic named August Schrader, arrived in New York in 1840 from Hamburg Germany. By the spring of 1844 he had saved enough money to purchase some machinery, and open a shop at 115 John Street in Manhattan. He was a maker of daguerreotype apparatus. Shortly there after he went into partnership with Christian Baecher, at this same address. Christian was a turner, a finisher of brass. In 1846 Schrader took interest in an underwater race between divers off the battery in Lower Manhattan. His concern was with the equipment used. Upon inspecting the divers, he was convinced that he could improve the design, and manufacturing of the helmets.

By 1849 Schrader produced two helmets. They were sold to the Union India Rubber Co.of New York for $12.00 each. In January 1850 Schrader sold Union India Rubber Co. one air pump for $25.00. More orders were to follow.
An improved air pump was produced, and exhibited at the Industrial Fair of 1856, at the Crystal Palace in New York. A diploma was awarded with the inscription, "An air pump attached to a divers dress, well manufactured and powerful".
August Schrader was weIl under way in the dive equipment business.

Schrader went out of business in 1952, when the company was sold to Craftsweld Equipment Corporation. In 1999, A. Schader Diving Equipment Co. was given new life by it's new owner, Atlantic Diving Equipment Co. and is now back in business.

A. Schrader Diving Equipment Co.

16509 Sylvan Drive

Bowie, Maryland, USA

Phone/Fax (301) 464-8852

12 bolt 3 light

Schrader helmet from around 1860. One of the oldest Schraders we have ever seen. 

Schrader 3 light airhelmet # 870. This helmet is fitted with a Craftsweld comm. box.

This 12 bolt is a bit younger. It features a telephone facility and has the rectangular nametag.

12 bolt 4 light Sponge Helmet

Schrader & Son produced a helmet for the Sponge Diving Industry in Tarpon Springs in Florida. In common with other Sponge helmets.
The design incorporated a large front port and its other ports were typically unprotected as the likelihood of impact was slight.

Of typical Sponge helmet design this helmet has a reinforced inlet elbow, though it may be possible this addition to the standard design may have been a device
to help protect the diver from being snagged by a hose or lifeline in an inaccessible place which he could not reach. It should be remembered the diver would often
walk the seabed with the Sponge boat following his airline rather than the conventional method of standard diving whereby the boat was anchored and the
diver worked  from the shot line. From the various solder traces it would appear this helmet has undergone many repairs during its working life.

Photos by Diving Heritage.

12 bolt 4 light

A 4 light. The wingnuts are missing as well as the guard an top light glass.

12 bolt-4 bolt 3 light

Very nice unpolished helmet.

Early 12 bolt-4 bolt same as the one above. Notice this helmet has no nametag. On early helmets the name was only on the neckring. This is an "A. Schrader" helmet (no son yet...)

Early 12-4 bolt helmet. A bit younger, there is a nametag. Still no communications.

12 bolt-5 bolt 4 light

In our opinion this is one of the most interesting helmets that was ever made. It is the 12 bolt-5 bolt- 4 light helmet. This helmet must be at least 100 years old and was used by the US Navy before they used the MK-V. In the pictures you see that modifications were made. It seems like the telephone booth has been removed. Often modifications were made to hats on divers requests. But why someone would want to remove a telephone facility beats us...

One thing is for sure: Features of this helmet were used by George D. Stillson when he designed the Mark V in 1915. for instance, Morse commercial helmets had oval side windows. The round Schrader side windows were used on the Mark V.

Continue to Schrader page two