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Diving bell brothers – 1831

16th century painting of Alexander the Great, lowered in a glass diving bell OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP); "Seas, Maps and Men" Wikimedia commona

16th century painting of Alexander the Great, lowered in a glass diving bell
OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP); “Seas, Maps and Men”
Wikimedia commona

Colonial Times – 7 January 1831
Three brothers of the name of Owen, of Holyhead, lately invented a diving-bell, about the size and form of a churn, by which they can be dressed and remain for many hours in fifteen fathoms of water, moving from place to place with considerable facility. With this simple apparatus they lately proceeded to Donaghadee, on the coast of Ireland, to the spot where the brig Enterprize was lost in 1802, when homeward bound from South America with a large quantity of specie in gold and silver on board.

For the recovery of this valuable cargo they immediately commenced operations, and at the first descent the diver lit on the ship’s bell, having the name of the vessel, “The Enterprize,” engraved thereon, which he brought up with him. On this discovery the divers returned with reaping hooks, with which they employed themselves for three successive days in cutting the sea weeds about the vessel; and on the fourth day they succeeded in discovering a number of Spanish dollars of the coinage of Charles III. and IV. They continued their gallant exertions, from day to day, which were rewarded by a considerable quantity of the same valuable coin.

The three enterprising brothers were at Holyhead last week, displaying the fruit of their ingenuity, and are now on their way back to the silver shores which have already afforded so fair a return for their labour, and whence they hope still to reap a further and richer harvest.- North Wales Chronicle.

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