These are:

to be lubricated by "French chalk, lamp black, oil, tallow, soft soap or the like, or a mixture of all of them." A peculiar feature of the joints is that the weight of the moving parts is to be borne by knife-edge hearings. This suggests that the dress had never been tried. Such hearings, with the dress out of water, might well seem almost ideal as reducing the friction of movement to a minimum; hut with the dress sub-merged and much of the weight of the limbs removed by their own buoyancy, such hearings (being only designed to support a powerful thrust in one direction continuously) might easily fail altogether, and would prove, in any event, much inferior to a ball-bearing.

To ensure that the joints remain watertight, the inventors propose to surround them with waterproof material tied above and below the joint; and they suggest that the space between the material and joint should be filled with grease—as in the "grease-gaiter" of the present-day car. Alternatively, they propose—it is curious how the misconception persists—to make the internal pressure within the dress equal to that of the water outside.

Each arm of the dress terminates in a large spherical knob enclosing the hand. Outside each knob is a pair of hand-operated nippers. The number of joints in the dress is 12 in all—four in each leg and two in each arm. Twin air-pipes are employed.


Any information about the Day brothers is welcome!
28 april 2008
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Day 1897


A very carefully designed dress was suggested in 1897 by John and George Day, of Maesteg, South Wales. The design provides for a completely armoured dress with ball-and-socket joints, kept watertight by “a suitable packing”.

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