Klingert’s Diving Machine

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Diver equipped with the diving machine designed by Karl Heinrich Klingert in 1797
Klingert's diving machine.
(P. 637.)

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The Getty Research Institute, The Internet Archive

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Description

Diver equipped with the diving “machine” designed by Karl Heinrich Klingert, an inventor from Breslau. On June 23, 1797, Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim dived into the River Oder wearing Klingert’s apparatus, reached the bottom, and was able to saw through a tree trunk.

According to the author, this diving suit was made of tinplate, complemented with a short-sleeve shirt and leather breeches. The eye holes (B) were fitted with glass, and weights hanging at the hips (E) allowed for the diver’s stability underwater. Fresh air came down one pipe and a second one returned the exhaust air, while two containers (D) collected the water which would inevitably find its way inside the pipes. This device could allow a diver to go as deep as 20 or 22 ft (6 or 7 m), and it seems that in the history of diving gear, it was to become little more than a stepping stone for further improvement.

The caption reads in the original French: Appareil de Klingert.

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