Diving bells used to salvage the Mary Rose

Last updated: May 17, 2018 at 2:47 am

[ 1642 ] American Edward Bendall builds two wooden diving bells to salvage the wreck of the Mary Rose off Portsmouth, England. The vessel is eventually raised by the Mary Rose Trust in 1982.

From Original Narratives of Early American History | Winthrop’s Journal (1630-1649): “He [Bendall] made two great tubs, bigger than a butt, very tight, and open at one end, upon which were hanged so many weights as would sink it to the ground (600wt). It was let down, the diver sitting in it, a cord in his hand to give notice when they should draw him up, and another cord to show when they should remove it from place to place, so he could continue in his tub near half an hour, and fasten ropes to the ordnance, and put the lead, etc., into a net or tub. And when the tub was drawn up, one knocked upon the head of it, and thrust a long pole under water, which the diver laid hold of, and so was drawn up by it; for they might not draw the open end out of water for endangering him, etc.”

Original Narratives of Early American History | Winthrop’s Journal (1630-1649)

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