Nautical Instruments & Tools
Price = n/a
Siebe Gorman London Submarine Emergency Escape Goggles
These formed an integral part of the Davis Submerged Escape Apparatus, an early type of oxygen rebreather invented in 1910 by Sir Robert Davis, head of Siebe Gorman and Co. Ltd. They were primarily intended as an emergency escape apparatus for submarine crews.
The DSEA rig comprised a rubber re breather bag, an air cylinder containing 56 litres, with the breathing bag connected to a mouthpiece by a flexible corrugated tube for breathing via the mouthpiece, with the nose being closed by a clip. Our goggles, that are in close to mint and we suspect unissued condition, were provided as a standard part of the system. The Davis Submerged Escape Apparatus is believed to be the first re breather to be made in quantity and was adopted by the Royal Navy in 1929 and was used in live situations to assist crew members to escape from several sunken submarines, including HMS Poseidon in 1931, HMS Thetis in 1939 and HMS Perseus in 1941. A smaller version of the DSEA, the Amphibious Tank Escape Apparatus (ATEA) was use by the crews of amphibious DD tanks such as those used during the Normandy landings, many of which foundered before getting to the beaches. Also in WWII the set was notably used by the Underwater Working Party at Gibraltar led by Lt. Lionel "Buster" Crabb, and worn by frogmen piloting 'Sleeping Beauty' Motorised Submersible Canoes.
This set are clearly embossed on the central nose bridge 'Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd Makers London. Where the back strap is attached is marked TR3095 and a B below. In addition inside the right eyepiece the rubber is embossed VOCAB 25366. The orange rubber is in excellent pliable condition with no perishing and the elastic and leather back strap is pristine. The glass lenses are again close to mint with no damage or fogging. This is the first set of these we have had in for 9 years and these are in significantly better condition and impossible to upgrade. Aviation collectors amongst you may well notice the similarity of these to early rubber RFC first pattern flying issue. Grab them whilst you can as when they have gone they are gone!