The earliest known Mark V US Navy diving helmet will be going to auction on July 18th, 2020.
The event is part of the Nation’s Attic Vintage Scuba Auction. The helmet has an interesting story, since its discovery in a house in Wisconsin in February 2020. It was bought in the 1950s as an item of curiosity.
After careful examination of the helmet, it holds the serial number #2198, which indicates it is a very early model made in the Mark V inaugural year 1916. The helmet’s rarity is further enhanced by the fact that the US Navy published a diving manual in 1916, featuring a photo of a Mark V helmet with the serial number #2178. While this helmet is lost, the recently found helmet is only 20 ahead and was probably one of the helmets sent to the Navy for tests and evaluations.
According to Don Creekmore, the owner of The Nation’s Attic:
“This truly is a unique opportunity to own arguably the most important US Navy diving helmet made in the 20th Century.”
The helmet is in a no reserve auction, with the highest bid at the time of writing standing at US$16,000 (~14,253 Euros).